The secretary of state insists that the United States does not support regime change in Iran, but rather a change in the behavior of the Iranian regime. Speaking on Voice of America’s Radio Farda, our official Farsi-language channel to the Iranian people, Secretary Mike Pompeo said the United States supported Iranians, wherever they were, who were fighting for greater freedom, so long as they did not advocate an end to the Islamic regime itself.
President Trump is on the verge of his big decision on the Iran Deal, but it seems to me that the Iran Deal is secondary; in fact, the passionate debate over the Deal leads us to the central issue. Whether he opts out of the Deal or stays in, Trump needs to decide what to do about Iran.
The apparent discovery of the mummified remains of Reza Shah by Iranian archaeologists must have sent chills up and down the spine of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Reza is the symbol of the kind of government most Iranians want: secular, tolerant, modern. His name has often been chanted in the nationwide demonstrations that have continued unabated for weeks.
You’re going to preside over the imminent Iran policy debate, and I’m sure you’ll do it the way we used to do it in the Reagan White House: bring the president the fullest possible picture of the disagreements among the Cabinet secretaries, and then he decides. He’ll undoubtedly ask what you think, and I hope you tell him that the Iran deal is beside the point -- that we need a real policy to bring down the regime of the Islamic Republic.