President Trump appeared to dash the hopes of his neoconservative foreign policy advisors when he explicitly rejected a strategy of regime change for Iran on Monday. Trump was speaking to press during a state visit to Japan, and endorsed the idea of his Japanese counterpart visiting Iran to further diplomatic exchange.
“We’re not looking for regime change. I want to make that clear… No one wants to see terrible things happen.”
The President specified that his driving principle was to prevent Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons, as opposed to a utopian ideal of imposing a western-style ‘liberal democracy’ upon the Islamist state. He referenced what he identified as great economic potential for the nation of 81 million people, offering a diplomatic olive branch in a manner akin to how his administration’s engaged with North Korea.
President Trump even went so far as to predict that the United States would reach an agreement with Iran under his administration.
The statement rejected the policy goals of neoconservatives like Mike Pompeo and John Bolton within the Trump administration, who have sought regime change in the Middle Eastern country in uncertain terms. Bolton directly called for regime change in a speech to a fringe communist group last year. It’s likely the President’s comments in favor of peace and diplomacy will leave him and Pompeo(another reliably ultra-hawkish figure within the administration) steaming.
Tensions have arisen between the United States and Iran in recent months, in great part to due to bellicose rhetoric from hawkish advisors surrounding the President and agitation from Saudi Arabia for an American confrontation of its Shia rival.
NEW: Joe Biden Bashes Incoming Trump Administration In Leaked 2016 Call to President of Ukraine
Joe Biden speaks in critical and partisan terms of the incoming Trump administration in a new leaked call to the President of Ukraine unveiled Wednesday.
In the call, conducted in November 2016 a week after then-candidate Trump’s election victory, Biden bashes the incoming administration to the foreign leader, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Biden assails the Trump transition team as incompetent, turning down the idea of visiting the country before the January transition before Trump is “fully briefed” on matters related to Ukraine.
In a second call, Biden asks for Poroshenko to describe his conversations with incoming President Trump, going to to speak of Trump in more dismissive terms. He describes Trump as a “dog who caught the car, and who doesn’t know what to do.” Not quite a “dog-faced pony soldier,” but definitely not an appropriate way for an outgoing vice president to describe an incoming president to a foreign leader.
A Ukrainian comedian originally released the calls, suggesting questionable operational security within the conversations of Joe Biden and Poroshenko. Biden has a lengthy history of ethical questions regarding his relationship with Ukraine, including looking the other way as his son Hunter secured an extremely lucrative position at a Ukrainian oil company without any experience whatsoever in the energy industry.
Biden himself would later go on to demand the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating corruption allegations against the younger Biden, a clear conflict of interest Biden merely dismissed when he spoke openly of securing the prosecutor’s firing at a Council on Foreign Relations public event.
This is a totally inappropriate way for a Vice President to speak to a foreign leader, and the public should be concerned about how Biden plans to conduct diplomacy should he be elected President.
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