July 23, 2018

Persian Springs and a War of Words

Timothy Birdnow

A war of words erupted between Iran and President Trump, with The Donald threatening to, well:

To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018

Turns out Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been promoting regime change to the expatriated Iranian community.

According to Asia Times Online: "US President Donald Trump, who has indicated a desire for regime change in Tehran, decided on May 8 to reimpose the sanctions that had been lifted as part of multi-nation deal aimed at stopping Iran from building nuclear weapons.

Following the US withdrawal from the accord, which took even Washington’s closest European allies by surprise, Pompeo on May 21 unveiled a "new strategy” aimed at forcing Tehran to agree to a dozen demands or be hit with the "strongest sanctions in history.”

Pompeo was scheduled to deliver a speech on Sunday at the Ronald Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, California, entitled "Supporting Iranian Voices.”

The venue for Pompeo’s address is significant, said a State Department official, who noted that about 250,000 Iranian-Americans live in Southern California.

"He will be exposing some of the corruption” of a "kleptocratic regime,” the official said. "The regime has prioritized its ideological agenda over the welfare of the Iranian people.”

End excerpt.

Iranian Grand Poohbah Rouhani made the threat:

"America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”

End excerpt.

I have never understood why we have allowed Iran to run wild across the Middle East. They are the terror masters, supporting every Islamic terrorist movement around the globe. In the past the Russians supported Iran, which kept American Presidents from taking steps to overthrow the unpopular regime. Russia's primary geopolitical strategy involved the control of oil and gas to Europe - which made Iran the primary partner, as Iran has plenty of both and control the southern border where any pipeline would have to pass from Asia.

But hydraulic fracturing blew that plan apart, and the Russians have less cause to buttress the Mullahs in Iran (who quite likely have supported terrorists in Chechnya and other Islamic regions near Russia proper.) Iran is ready to go - there was an attempted coup during the Obama era but the BHO refused to support the Iranian People and the Mullahs crushed it. Trump and co. are trying to reignite this rebellion.

It's a dangerous gamble. But Trump has already managed to put some daylight between Iran and their bestie in Korea, and stopping North Korea's nuclear testing hurts Iran (who was sharing in the knowledge attained by Kim Jong Un.) But if it would cool the Middle East down it would make us all safer. The main worry is Russia - and China.

In the past our European allies (rather erstwhile friends, if you ask me) fought us in this because they did a lot of business with Iran and they wanted Iranian oil and gas. They oppose American efforts here for the same reason they opposed the war in Iraq; they had been cheating on the boycotts in both cases. But now that the Administration has laid down the law with the E.U. there is little to stop America from promoting regime change in Iran.

Frankly, I thought we should have gone into Iran rather than Iraq. Iran is the true source of international terror.

But we didn't and hindsight is 20/20. I think the course taken by Trump is prudent if dangerous. The professional diplomats hate it of course, because it Is an attempt to actually solve the problem rather than just shuffle things around. Too much of international policy is designed to maintain the status quo.

Time will tell on this.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 01:05 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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