Still considered among the candidates for President-elect Donald Trump’s Secretary of State, John Bolton is continuing to underscore his longstanding aversion of trying to come up with diplomatic solutions by urging the US to impose a regime change on Iran.
Bolton has long called for bombing Iran, and long criticized the nuclear deal with Iran. Today he said he thinks Iranians would probably welcome a “new regime,” though he conceded that whoever the US ended up installing might not be particularly democratic.
Bolton suggested in his comments that the US regime change would mostly involve picking an opposition group to start backing, suggesting it might not even require the direct use of US military force. The opposition factions with Iran are fairly limited. The main rebel groups in Iran are regional, though as with fellow State Dept. candidate Rudolph Giuliani, Bolton is seen as particularly keen on long-time terrorist group the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MeK).
While reports of Giuliani giving paid speeches on behalf of the MeK appeared to severely hurt his candidacy, Bolton’s own history of advocacy for the group has mostly gone under the radar, despite him being an outspoken supporters of both MeK and regime change for a long time.
Bolton provided no good reason for a regime change in Iran after the P5+1 nuclear deal, insisting simply that they are a “long-term problem” in his view. Bolton had similarly made Iraq a “long-term” subject of interest through the 1990s, and was seen as one of the architects of the 2003 US invasion and occupation. Despite how badly that went, he seems eager to give it another shot with the even larger nation of Iran.