Cal Thomas: Needed: Regime change in Iran

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 30, 2024

By Cal Thomas

Every approach to curtailing Iran from its threats and behavior toward Israel and other countries has failed.

In 2023, the Biden administration imposed sanctions on Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officials accused of planning assassinations overseas. In 2024, it “reapproved a sanctions waiver that unlocks upwards of $10 billion in frozen funds for the Iranian government.”

This after Iran attacked American troops in Syria, and elsewhere through its proxies. Can we know for sure none of that $10 billion went to fund terrorism?

Diplomacy failed as Iranian “diplomats” have kept the U.S. tied up in endless talks. American negotiators have duped themselves into a baseless faith that a deal might persuade Tehran to give up its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

The U.S. — indeed the world — has only one option left: regime change. This should be the policy of the United States and other free countries, especially those that have been subjected to terrorist attacks. The goal must be removal of the ayatollahs ruling and ruining Iran and to make sure free and fair elections are held to replace them. As noted two years ago by Amnesty International, “Iran was rocked by an unprecedented popular uprising against the Islamic Republic system. Security forces unlawfully fired live ammunition and metal pellets to crush protests, killing hundreds of men, women and children and injuring thousands.”

The missile attack on Israel last weekend was a preview of what could be far worse. As Iran International reported: “Mohammad Faker Meybodi, a faculty member at the Center for Islamic Sciences…emphasized the need for contemporary armaments to deter adversaries effectively. ‘At the time when the verse related to military weapons was revealed in the Quran, the weapon of that era was the swords and spears… Today, it may be necessary for us to possess nuclear weapons to intimidate the enemy. We must equip ourselves with modern weapons.’”

The last known outside regime change effort in Iran occurred during the Carter administration. President Carter thought toppling the shah was good policy. Granted, the shah was no democrat, but he kept the lid on and when he was overthrown, Iran shifted from a pro-Western country to what it is now — the epicenter of fundamentalist Islamic terrorism.

There are many ways to undermine and replace the ayatollahs other than outright war. Opposition groups inside and outside Iran should be supported, financially and politically. A future U.S. administration can make it clear to Israel that America supports undermining and overthrowing the Tehran dictatorship.

The Biden, Obama and Clinton administrations have tried and thankfully failed to remove Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from office. Biden should try that approach with Iran. If successful, it would do more to lower the temperature in the Middle East than the undermining of our supposed ally. Netanyahu, perhaps more than any other modern Israeli leader, understands the threat to Israel’s existence and how best to deter his country’s enemies, especially Iran.

No amount of diplomacy or money will deter the mullahs from attempting to carry out what they believe is the will of their god — the destruction of the Jewish state, the murder of Jews, Christians and all others they consider “infidels.”

The reaction of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh after his three sons were killed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza is telling. When told, Haniyeh barely shrugged his shoulders and declared them martyrs.

If the increasingly secular West does not take seriously the religious fanaticism of Iran’s ayatollahs, it can’t effectively defeat them. Perhaps supporters of Israel and opponents of Iran can revise a chant now used by anti-Israel protesters: From the river to the sea, Israel and the world must be free … of Iranian terrorism.

Readers may email Cal Thomas at Look for Cal Thomas’ latest book “A Watchman in the Night: What I’ve Seen Over 50 Years Reporting on America” (HumanixBooks).