John Bolton Calls for Regime Change in Iran
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton buries what should be the lede in his Wall Street Journal op-ed:
Changing Tehran's Holocaust-denying regime could end its nuclear program, as well as eliminate its continuing financing of and weapons supplies for Hamas and Hezbollah, reduce its malign hold over Syria, and strengthen Lebanon's fragile democracy. Taming Iran is not a magical cure-all, but surely addressing the central threat is more sensible than haphazardly dealing with the symptoms separately.
This comes at paragraph eight, but surely this should be up front. After all, deposing the government in Iran is something of a serious undertaking. Unfortunately, Bolton doesn't devote much time (none, in fact) to the mechanics of how the U.S. goes about deposing the Mullahs. (Maybe we dust off the Kermit Roosevelt playbook?)
He asserts that a Mullah-free Iran would give up nuclear weapons. You have to wonder how plausible this claim is given that Iran's nuclear program began under the auspices of the U.S.-backed Shah and is reportedly a source of pride among the Iranian people. More broadly, while attempting regime change may result in all the benefits Bolton expressed above, it might not. As Bolton acknowledged, it's not a "cure all." But it could be far worse than that.
As we learned in Iraq, once you topple a repressive regime, there's no telling what happens next.