Donald Trump’s Election Is A Game Changer For Iran Policy

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The War for Washington

In sports, a game changer or event is an athlete or play that suddenly changes the momentum and perhaps outcome of a contest. Trump has an opportunity to be a game changer and tilt the outcome in favor of the Iranian people and away from Tehran and its war against them.

There’s also war for Washington between the Iranian regime and its main opposition—the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which acts as the parliament-in-exile. Its main unit the—People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran/Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (PMOI/MEK) is the largest and best-organized Iranian opposition movement with the NCRI coalition.

The war for Washington is between the Iran lobby and an organization representing the Iranian people. Consider the letter from the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) in favor of the Iran deal. Organizers of that letter are apologists for Tehran who lobby on its behalf.

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Special coverage of US elections from Abu Dhabi and Washington

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Professor Raymond Tanter appeared in Washington DC on an Abu Dhabi News Channel, Sky News Arabia. He debated another scholar on 7 November 2016, about Iran and Saudi Arabia in English, which was translated into Arabic. The debate may be viewed at 31:00 minutes out of about a 51:00 minutes segment of Sky News “Special Coverage of U.S. Elections from Abu Dhabi and Washington.”

One of the themes of Tanter’s comments in the debate centered on remarks in his post in The Fikra Forum of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Preparing for Regime Change in Iran. The statements were by His Royal Highness, Prince Turki Al Faisal of Saudi Arabia; the Prince complimented the leader of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), saying that,

“Maryam Rajavi, your endeavor to rid your people of the Khomeinist cancer is an historic epic that…will remain inscribed in the annals of history.”

Tanter pointed on that on July 9, 2016, he observed a rally in Paris at which Prince Turki put forth what has become known as the “Turki Option,” i.e., regime change in Iran by the people.

When the crowd chanted, “The people want regime change,” the Prince joined the crowd in Arabic saying, “I, too, want regime change” in Iran, a remark that brought the house down.

The Iranians and US: A Shared Civilization Marred by Revolutionary ‘Identity’ Policies,” Turki’s talk, contains an argument that contrasts to the historically risk-averse nature of the Saudis, signaling the rising temperature of the cold war against revolutionary Iran.

Prince Turki stated that, “The Khomeinist regime has brought only destruction, sectarianism, conflict and bloodshed – not only to their own people in Iran, but across the Middle East. This is not the way forward.”

Then what is the way?

First, limit U.S. “engagement” with Tehran: Hillary Clinton is likely to take a hard line against Iran, as she did in the nuclear deal’s preliminary talks while Secretary of State. And if Donald Trump were elected, he pledged to renegotiate the deal, which hardly favors engagement.  Tanter mentioned how Iran was the problem in Syria and should not be a part of the solution there. In this respect, he used a new book by the NCRI entitled, “How Iran Fuels the Syria War” to demonstrate the widespread presence of Iranian-controlled on the ground troops in Syria.

Second, enhance existing sanctions. This action reverts to Republican-inspired coercive diplomacy that brought Iran to the table. In the spring 2016, the House of Representatives approved three new bills against Iran: blocking Iran’s access to the dollar outside of the U.S. financial system, sanctioning any sector of Tehran’s economy that directly or indirectly has applications for Iran’s ballistic missile program, and prohibiting Washington from buying heavy water from Iran.

Third, embrace regime change, because sanctions alone are insufficient to keep the regime in compliance. Publicly backing the Iranian opposition for regime change is the “Turki Option,” and the one that better ensures long-term compliance because the Iranian dissidents do not favor nuclear weapons in word and deed.

As the Prince attempts to redraw the arc of history, now is the time for the West to join the coalition that to shape the future.

Click here for the Arabic version of “Preparing for Regime Change in Iran.”

To watch the interview please go to: bit.ly/2ep4YXf