Monday, June 26, 2017

Speaking of Rex Tillerson

In a public congressional hearing, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggested that U.S. policy toward Iran would include, among other things, support for “peaceful” regime change. At best, it reflected the inchoate state of the Trump administration’s Iran policy; at worst, it reflected an unexpected neo-conservative beachhead in President Trump’s nascent Iran policy. Either way, it is likely to trigger an enduring response from the Iranians, who will not distinguish between Tillerson freelancing, free-associating, or previewing U.S. policy toward Iran. The Trump administration must move quickly and decisively to clarify its policy toward Iran, both to the American people and to the international community.

  Just Security
"Peaceful regime change"??? Jesus.
Secretary Tillerson, responding to a question from a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the U.S. position regarding regime change in Iran, said, “Our policy towards Iran is to push back on [its regional] hegemony, contain their ability to develop, obviously, nuclear weapons and to work towards support of those elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of that government.” It is that very last clause, which invokes not just regime change, but one that is internally rooted and supported by external forces. Tillerson went on to say, “Those elements are there certainly, as we know.”
Jesus, Joseph and Mary.

Hey, guys - We're ready to take on an overthrow of the Iranian government.
And, boy did the Iranians notice, even if Washington did not. Tehran registered its protest in several venues, including with the UN Security Council, the UN Secretary General, and the Swiss ambassador to Iran, whose government has served as the United States’ protecting power (a diplomatic intermediary) in Iran since May 1980. According to several news reports, the Iranian government delivered a letter condemning Tillerson’s remarks as a “brazen interventionist plan that runs counter to every norm and principle of international law, as well as the letter and spirit of [the] UN Charter, and constitutes [ ] unacceptable behavior in international relations.”
...but hey, do what you will anyway.

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