President Donald Trump is committed to regime change in Iran, said Rudy Giuliani, Trump's newest controversial attorney (although perhaps not for long) and longtime informal advisor.
Speaking to reporters after a Saturday keynote to the Iran Freedom Convention for Democracy and Human Rights in Washington, Giuliani said "We got a president who is tough, who does not listen to the people who are naysayers, and a president who is as committed to regime change as we are." In other words, pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal is now being conflated with regime change in Iran.
Giuliani says he's been a supporter of regime change for "ten years," that it's the only way to peace in the middle east, and that it's "more important than an Israeli-Palestinian deal."
Rudy Giuliani advocates regime change in Iran: "I think it's the only way to peace in the Middle East. It's more important than an Israeli-Palestinian deal" https://t.co/Fpf6OgOlaC— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) May 5, 2018
The former Mayor of New York City, who was at one point under consideration for Secretary of State, pretended at one point in his speech that his notes were the Iran nuclear deal - ripping them up and spitting on them.
“With Secretary of State Pompeo now on his right hand and his national security advisor John Bolton… on his left side, what do you think is going to happen to that agreement, that nuclear agreement?” Giuliani asked.
Ok, so nuclear agreement has got to go - but let's check with December, 2016 Trump to see what he thinks about regime change:
And with just five days to go before Donald Trump withdraws from the Iran nuclear deal on May 12, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned the US of "historic regret" if it pulls out from the nuclear deal.
"If the United States leaves the JCPOA, you will soon see the historic regret which the move will bring about for Washington", Rouhani told a crowd in Sabzevar in northeast Iran.
Under the deal, technically known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed in 2015, the U.S. and other world powers agreed to lift some of the economic sanctions imposed on Iran in return for the latter agreeing to rein in its nuclear program. The biggest, impact, however was lowering the price of crude, as the global market suddenly had access to nearly 1 million in Iranian oil output; and one of the key reasons why the price of oil has spiked in recent weeks is the market's growing confidence that Trump will dump the JCPOA.
Whereas Trump has called the pact "one of the worst negotiated agreements" he has ever seen, and has repeatedly threatened to pull the U.S. out of the deal and has to make a decision on whether he will do so by the Saturday deadline, Rouhani said Iran has been “loyal to its promises”.
On Saturday, we reported that former Secretary of State John Kerry and a group of his former State Department officials have been acting as unofficial diplomats in recent weeks - sneaking around the world trying to salvage the Iran deal he presided over ahead of its renewal deadline, the Boston Globe reported Friday.
In response, Trump tweeted on Monday "The United States does not need John Kerry’s possibly illegal Shadow Diplomacy on the very badly negotiated Iran Deal. He was the one that created this MESS in the first place!"
The United States does not need John Kerry’s possibly illegal Shadow Diplomacy on the very badly negotiated Iran Deal. He was the one that created this MESS in the first place!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2018
Perhaps we could just rip up the Iran deal but not conduct regime change?