An End to the Islamic Republic Should Be America’s Goal

At a press conference last week, President Trump stated that the U.S. is “not looking for regime change” in Tehran. Andrew McCarthy, while praising the substance of the administration’s Iran policy, argues that regime change—albeit not invasion or war—ought precisely to be Washington’s aim.

Regardless of our position on the matter, Iran has been at war with us for 40 years. If the adversary is determined to attack you, it is not in your power to avoid war by pronouncing that you do not desire it. You can practice restraint, and that might even be the right thing to do in some circumstances, but you can’t avoid a fight when the other guy is punching you. . . .

[T]he president says both that he wants to avoid war (i.e., the war Iran is already fighting) and that he will not tolerate Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. But how, then, is he planning to stop the mullahs from obtaining nukes? Let’s say Iran proceeds openly with weapons development but does not conduct any major attacks against American interests while doing so; how—given Trump’s determination to avoid war—is he planning to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power?

No one wants an all-out war with Iran. Americans have no interest in invading and occupying another Muslim country—least of all Iran. Its rich culture and sophisticated populace provide grounds for hope that we can have cordial relations with Iran in the future. But the current impediment to cordial relations, and the reason nuclear weapons would be intolerable, is the regime. It is one of the world’s most despicable governments, and it is incorrigibly anti-American.

So, of course our goal should be regime change. No, we do not want to invade to achieve it, but it should still be our objective. The president should not be shy about saying so, or about turning all levers of government power—political, diplomatic, legal, and covert, as well as military and financial—in that direction. It would be a good way of setting expectations for the mullahs, for the craven European governments that want us to appease the mullahs, and for the Iranian people we would like to see rise up against the mullahs. . . . If [President Trump] is really serious about stopping Tehran from developing nukes, then he must convince the regime that he is keeping all options on the table—especially the ones he hopes never to use.

Welcome to Mosaic

Register now to get two more stories free

Register Now

Already a subscriber? Sign in now

Read more at National Review

More about: Donald Trump, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy


The Palestinian Authority Deliberately Provoked Sunday’s Jerusalem Riots

Aug. 16 2019

On Sunday, Tisha b’Av—the traditional day of mourning for the destruction of the two Jerusalem Temples—coincided with the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. While the Israeli government had initially banned Jews from the Temple Mount on that day, it later reversed its decision and allowed a few dozen to visit. Muslim worshippers greeted them by throwing chairs and stones, and police had to quell the riot by force. Just yesterday, an Israeli policeman was stabbed nearby. Maurice Hirsch and Itamar Marcus place the blame for Sunday’s violence squarely on the shoulders of the Palestinian Authority:

Sign up to read more

You've read all your free articles for this month


Sign up now for unlimited access to the best in Jewish thought, culture, and politics

Already have an account? Log in now

Read more at Palestinian Media Watch

More about: Palestinian Authority, Temple Mount, Tisha b'Av