Middle East Eye.net Sun., July 01, 2018
US President Donald Trump allies Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich on Saturday urged “regime change” in Iran, saying the prospect was closer than ever after the Islamic Republic was hit by a new wave of strikes and protests.
Former House speaker Gingrich and ex-New York mayor Giuliani told the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an umbrella bloc of groups of exiled Iranians opposed to the Islamic Republic, that Trump needed to turn up the heat on European countries still seeking to do business with Tehran in spite of renewed US sanctions.
“The only way to safety in the region is to replace the dictatorship with a democracy, and that has to be our goal,” Gingrich told the Free Iran rally, organised by exiled opponents including the former rebel group the People’s Mujahideen, which is banned in Iran.
Maryam Rajavi, who heads the group, told reporters: “Regime change in Iran is within reach as never before … The wheels of change have started turning.”
Gingrich stressed that he did not speak for the Trump administration, but added: “It seems to me there would be a rather happy celebration should regime change occur.”
In Tehran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Trump would fail in any attempt to turn the Iranian people against the ruling system.
“They bring to bear economic pressure to separate the nation from the system … but six US presidents before him tried this and had to give up,” Khamenei said on his website.
Gingrich said he did not support arming the Iranian opposition, saying Trump should instead heap on more sanctions after pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
European countries that signed the 2015 Iran deal along with the United States, Russia and China, are sticking with it, saying the agreement prevents Iran from developing weapons-grade nuclear fuel. But Giuliani said Europe should be “ashamed” of itself.
Gingrich blasted countries attempting to find ways to allow their companies to keep operating in Iran under the threat of penalties for US sanctions-busting.
Bolton, who at the time was with the American Enterprise Institute think-tank, told Fox News in January: “Our goal should be regime change in Iran.”
Full article here: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/trump-allies-giuliani-gingrich-tell-paris-opposition-rally-end-near-irans-rulers-1551753877