Has the Trump administration, a la Jared Kushner, learned nothing from the history of America’s last regime-change efforts in Iran? Perhaps even worse today, “the decision by President Donald Trump to use America’s power once again to interfere with Iran’s internal politics does not have the backing of America’s NATO allies, including Turkey, and is also opposed by Russia and China.”
By Richard Walker
Sixty-five years after a CIA-inspired coup overthrew a democratically elected Iranian government to install a pro-Western puppet regime, the Trump administration has announced its intention to once again force regime change in Iran.
The 1953 coup led by the U.S. was a disgraceful episode in the history of U.S. foreign policy and involved the British, who were determined to control Iran’s oil riches.
Today, the decision by President Donald Trump to use America’s power once again to interfere with Iran’s internal politics does not have the backing of America’s NATO allies, including Turkey, and is also opposed by Russia and China.
Given that Washington’s regime change policy in Syria has turned out to be such a disaster, the announcement by former CIA chief Mike Pompeo, now secretary of state, that Iran is now in the Trump White House crosshairs was not well received by European nations that will not back America in another Middle East war driven by neocon fervor and Washington’s ties to Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Anyone with a brain knows that the Middle East has been a junkyard for U.S. foreign policy. There has been a long line of disasters including the Iraq War, the Syria War, the removal of Muammar Qaddafi in Libya that led to the disintegration of that country into armed camps, and support for Saudi Arabia that is committing war crimes in Yemen and paying al Qaeda to assist it. The recent Saudi slaughter of a busload of Yemeni school children with a missile supplied by the U.S. did not raise an eyebrow in Congress. One can only imagine what the reaction would have been had Israeli children been massacred by Palestinians.
The risk of running a covert campaign to force regime change in Iran is that it could lead to a bloody war across the region. That would suit Israel and Saudi Arabia, two of the Trump administration’s closest allies. It would also cost many lives, including those of U.S. service personnel. Russia, an ally of Iran, could be drawn into such a conflict.
None of this appears to trouble Trump, who franchised out Middle East policy to his son-inlaw, Jared Kushner, a family friend of Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu and a close associate of the reckless Saudi leader Mohammed bin Salman.
Because of an anti-Iran alliance between the Saudis and Israelis, the Saudis are behaving like they can do what they please in the region. Last year, they threatened to invade Qatar, but Turkey placed troops in Qatar as a warning that a Saudi invasion would have consequences beyond Qatar.
The recent revelation that the Saudis and their ally, the United Arab Emirates, were providing al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) with arms, training, and large sums of money was initially denied by the Saudis, but more recent reports have confirmed that it was true.
For America to be involved with the Saudi war in Yemen in which al Qaeda is an ally is to trash the memory of all those who died on the USS Cole and on 9/11. One of the most bizarre elements of the Saudi-al Qaeda alliance is that AQAP has been identified as the al Qaeda franchise that poses the greatest threat to America.
It should not have come as a shock to anyone that Pompeo recently announced the creation of a shadowy organization, the Iran Action Group (IAG), whose members’ names are classified. The aim of the IAG is supposedly to change the Iran regime’s policies, which is a euphemism for taking military and economic actions to overthrow the regime. This is the same Pompeo who is on record claiming that it would take only 2,000 bombing sorties by the U.S. and its allies to destroy Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and presumably its industrial base. The claim was made in 2014, but now there would be no NATO allies prepared tojoin such a venture, leaving Washington tied to Israel and Saudi Arabia.
On May 22, Pompeo ominously warned that the U.S. would use all its economic and military might to destroy Iran’s economy and crush its operatives and proxies around the world. It was clearly a threat of U.S. inter-agency activity of the type Israel is fond of, including assassinations. Such a policy would result in blowback beyond the Middle East.
Commentator Daniel Patrick Welch told PressTV he believed Russia and China would oppose any reckless move to attack Iran. Turkey, meanwhile, has made it clear that it will side with Russia and China in helping Iran combat Washington sanctions.
A Russian diplomatic source with knowledge of the region spoke to AFP off the record, pointing out that Moscow was concerned the Trump administration was being moved toward a major conflict with Iran. The source said the Kremlin saw no appetite among European nations for more chaos in the Middle East.
Richard Walker is the pen name of a former N.Y. news producer.