As President Trump threatens to rip up the nuclear agreement between the U.S., Iran and other major powers, the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javar Zarif said on Sunday that the United States has “never abandoned the idea of regime change” for his country and the only major difference now is that the Trump administration has just become “more explicit about stating it.”
“Well, I think the United States has never abandoned the idea of regime change in Iran. Now they are more explicit about stating it.” —Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javar Zarif
Asked specifically by Margaret Brennan, correspondent for CBS’s “Face The Nation,” about the rhetoric by Trump’s new national security advisor John Bolton—known as an ultra-hawk on Middle East policy who has openly advocated attacking Iran—and Mike Pompeo, currently the CIA director but recently nominated to become secretary of state, Zarif suggested Trump’s so-called “war cabinet” is in some ways just more honest about its hostility towards Iran.
“Well, I think the United States has never abandoned the idea of regime change in Iran. Now they are more explicit about stating it,” Zarif stated.
With a clear reference to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and other Gulf monarchies, Zarif continued by saying the U.S. is “used to dictators in our region who rely on them. As President Trump said, [those regimes] cannot live without U.S. support for two weeks. That’s the type of regime that they’re used to and that is why they so readily talk about regime change. They have not been able to impact the decision of the Iranian people over the last 40 years even at times when the Iranian revolution was very new.”
As CBS has yet put into segments the most interesting parts of the interview, watch the whole entire thing below. The good news, however, is that it is all very informative and revealing:
Zarif then reminder viewers that it was the U.S. who backed Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980’s, even supplying ingredients and condoning the use of chemical weapons by the Iraqis. “People should not forget history,” he said.
Zarif also said that if Trump does pull out of the nuclear pact, that it is ready to return to working on its nuclear development program at a ramped up pace.
“Just read the first three lines [of nuclear deal] and it’s there, there is no sunset to the fact that Iran will never seek nuclear weapons.”
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