President Trump is risk-averse to military intervention to change other governments. But he is risk-acceptant for “regime change” by the people: the Venezuela crisis at the end of April and beginning of May illustrates a propensity for Trump to accept risks of speaking out in favor of the people.
On April 30, Trump threatened to impose a “full and complete embargo” and more economic sanctions on Cuba if Havana does not end “deadly intervention” in Venezuela.
National security advisor John Bolton called on Russia to drop its support for the president of Venezuela. In addition, Bolton, in a Twitter post directed at the Venezuelan defense minister Padrino, said the armed forces, “must protect the Constitution and the Venezuelan people.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview that President Maduro had planned to step down and leave Venezuela, until Russia persuaded him to stay.
When it comes to Iran, both Pompeo at State and Secretary Mnuchin at Treasury imposed severe sanctions on Tehran for its role as the world’s “most active state sponsor” of terrorism.
Just as the Trump Administration is risk acceptant for regime change by the people of Venezuela, so Team Trump sides with the people of Iran as they seek to change the regime that represses them.
There are, of course, several opposition groups, which claim to represent the Iranian people. But the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI)/Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), have… "the greatest influence and the most far-reaching network outside Iran," per the Hudson Institute.
The Hudson Institute report agrees with research of the Iran Policy Committee and the American Committee on Human Rights, which concluded that the Iranian regime pays attention 235 percent more to the NCRI and its affiliated organizations than to all other opposition groups combined, a testament to the regime’s paranoia about this movement.
Case in point: Last month, the Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi and a provincial Intelligence Ministry director announced the arrest of 116 teams and 60 activists affiliated with the PMOI over the past year. On April 19, 2019, Madame Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, called on Secretary-General of the United Nations and international human rights organizations to take immediate action to release NCRI detainees and appoint delegations to visit the regime’s prisons and see the political prisoners.
The PMOI’s nationwide network is hard at work to effect regime change via the Iranian people.
Earlier this week, the NCRI’s Washington office released a 194-page detailed report, "Iran’s Emissaries of Terror," about the role of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security in almost all of the Iranian regime terror plots in Europe and the United States, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the full approval of the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, per press briefing by NCRI official, Alireza Jafarzadeh.
In contrast to President Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq to depose Saddam Hossein, regime change by the Iranian people is the means by which Iran has toppled unpopular rulers.
Consider some Iranian “revolutionary history” to provide context for this post.
On August 18, 1906, the first Legislative assembly was formed in the Military Academy to make preparations for the opening of the first Term of the National Consultative Assembly and drafting the election law.
Following the Shah’s death, his successor, who ruled Tabriz as a crown prince, ascended to the throne on January 21, 1907. Before taking the reign, he pledged to respect the fundaments of Constitution and Nation’s Rights. But he contravened this promise, which made “Constitutionalists” react and resulted in protests in places like Tabriz.
The Tabriz uprising spread to other provinces, including Mashhad, Bandar Abbas, and Bushehr. Freedom fighters prevailed against the tyranny at all points. Yet Tabriz was still under economic and military blockade set up by government forces, per the Iran Chamber of Commerce History of the Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1909.
The 1905-09 Revolution began protests by the Iranian people to effect regime change from within, a pattern that carried forth to the 1952 popular uprising by millions of Iranian to restore the revered Prime Minister Dr. Mohammad Mossadeq to the post of Prime Minister, forcing Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to flee the country, and to the 1979 Revolution, which toppled a detested Monarchy. These precedents provide an opportunity to facilitate regime change via the Iranian people.
Regarding the way forward, President Trump is risk-acceptant for regime change, and sides with the people of Iran to change the regime that oppresses them. There are three ways Trump can help the Iranian people.
First, provide high-tech APPs, to allow protestors to gather with minimum advance knowledge of the Ministry of Intelligence.
Second, go beyond imposing sanctions on Iran and stopping oil waivers, by extending the sanctions to the petrochemical and gas industry, so that Iran’s energy revenue cannot fund its destabilizing activities in Gaza, Syria, and Yemen.
The President must ensure that the sanctions resulting from the designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) are implemented fully.
Third, designate the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) as an FTO, for its role in hatching and conducting terror operations in Europe and the United States.
Prof. Raymond Tanter (@AmericanCHR) served as a senior member on the Middle East Desk of the National Security Council staff in the Reagan-Bush administration, Personal Representative of the Secretary of Defense to international security and arms control talks in Europe, and is now Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan. Tanter is on the comprehensive list of conservative writers and columnists who appear in The Wall Street Journal, Townhall.com, National Review, The Weekly Standard, Human Events, The American Spectator, and now in Newsmax. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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