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Trump confronts Iran with ‘fire and fury’ approach, may topple regime

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trump rouhani iran 2x1Michael
Gruber/Getty Images; Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images; Samantha
Lee/Business Insider

  • President Donald Trump told Iran to stop threatening
    the US or it would suffer historically epic
    consequences.
  • Trump was responding to a statement by Iran’s
    president, Hassan Rouhani.
  • Rouhani described a potential conflict with the US as
    “the mother of all wars” but also offered a vision of
    peace.
  • Trump’s administration has visibly begun a campaign to
    undermine Iran’s theocratic regime, and it looks as if it could
    work.

President Donald Trump shot down a veiled vision of peace offered
by Iran’s president on Sunday to full-on threaten the Islamic
Republic with historically epic confrontation — and it looks as
if his administration could topple the country.

“To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED
STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH
FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE,”
Trump tweeted
.

“WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED
WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!” he continued.

Trump was responding to statements from Rouhani, Iran’s elected
political leader who serves at the pleasure of Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei, the country’s religious supreme leader.

In a meeting with Iranian diplomats, Rouhani offered a vision of
peace with the US but also said a conflict between the two would
be “the mother of all wars.”

According to Reuters, he said: “America should know that peace
with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the
mother of all wars.”

Rouhani’s statement, though balanced against the threat of
massive war, actually represents a shift in Iranian foreign
policy.

Iran has strongly opposed the US since its theocratic government
took power in 1979, with officials chanting “death to America” in
parliament. Iran’s navy has the explicit, though lofty, operational goal of destroying the
US Navy
.

Trump is coming for Iran’s leadership


FILE PHOTO: A display featuring missiles and a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is seen at Baharestan Square in Tehran, Iran September 27, 2017. Nazanin Tabatabaee Yazdi/TIMA via REUTERS
Baharestan
Square in Tehran, the Iranian capital.

Thomson Reuters

Rouhani, in extending a veiled olive branch, may have been acting
in anticipation of an onslaught by Trump.

A new report from Reuters suggests Trump’s administration has
launched a campaign designed to topple Iran’s leaders.

Several officials told Reuters that Trump would pressure Iran’s
leaders with tough sanctions and an information campaign meant to
erode their support.

Recent statements from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo indicate
this shift has already taken place, as the US expresses its hope
for the Iranian people to install a more moderate, secular
government.

It could actually work


Iran Protest Headscarf
An
Iranian woman protesting the theocratic government’s rule that
all women must wear headscarves in public.


My
Stealthy Freedom آزادی یواشکی زنان در
ایران/Facebook



Since late 2017, Iran has seen wave after wave of grassroots
protests
with citizens rejecting the regime’s economic,
social, and foreign policies.

Iranian women rejecting the forced dress code of headscarves have
become emblematic of the movement.

While European countries strongly opposed Trump’s withdrawal of
the US from the Iran nuclear deal, the threat of US sanctions has
successfully made Tehran a pariah in the business world.

After Trump’s withdrawal, Iran’s currency ballooned and the
government imposed a set of strict financial controls on its
citizens, capping the amount of foreign currency they can hold
and seizing overseas accounts.

As Iran’s working class rejects the government’s foreign-policy
ambitions, the upper class has had its aspirations of foreign
travel or education crushed by such financial restrictions.
Iran’s government has responded to protests with security forces
and violence time and time again, but the unrest has continued on
a regular basis this year.

At the same time, Israel has proved adept at beating back Iran in
its push toward the Mediterranean. In May, after a rocket attack
that Israel attributed to Iran, Israeli jets devastated a large
swath of Iranian forces in Syria
.

Russia, normally a powerful ally of Iran, swiftly turned its back on
Tehran
, refusing to sell it air defenses even when its forces
were coming under heavy fire from Israel and telling Iran’s
militias to leave Syria.

Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran expert at the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace think tank, told Reuters that Trump’s
strategy could produce one of two outcomes.

“Outcome one is capitulation, forcing Iran to further curtail not
only its nuclear program but also its regional ambitions,”
Sadjadpour said. “Outcome two is the implosion of the Islamic
Republic.”

The US maintains it does not seek regime change for any country,
even those as antagonistic as Iran and North Korea.

But the people of Iran have shown a genuine distaste for the
theocracy’s policies, and the noted Iran hawks Pompeo and
John Bolton, the national security
adviser,
may see the opportunity as too good to pass up.

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