By Pooya Stone

Late last month, Donald Trump decided not to bomb Iran following the downing of an unmanned American drone, citing civilian casualties. This was a smart move because a war with Iran would be costly, deadly, and would be the worst way to ensure that Iran became a peaceful nation.

The far better way is to increase economic sanctions, which leaves Iran without the money to commit its heinous crimes and to support the Iranian people and their organised resistance who want to overthrow the Regime and institute a functioning democracy.

This certainly seems to be how the administration is positioning itself, with Trump’s increased sanctions and Vice President Mike Pence acknowledging the recent Free Iran demonstration in Washington, DC, where protesters called for regime change.

He said: "What we want to do is stand with the Iranian people, thousands of whom gathered outside the White House on Friday, and thousands of whom took to the streets last year in communities across Iran."

At this rally, Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said, “[The] religious dictatorship is a paper tiger when it comes to facing off with the Iranian Resistance. And its fate is no different from the fate of the Shah’s dictatorship.”

Last year, shortly after Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put forward a list of 12 demands for the Iranian Regime in order to reduce economic pressure on the country and arrange a new deal.
These included, but were not limited to:

• Not separating Iran’s nuclear aspirations from the overall security picture

• Iran ending uranium enrichment and vowing to never pursue plutonium reprocessing

• Iran ending its proliferation of ballistic missiles, launching of missiles, and development of nuclear-capable missile systems

• Iran declaring to the UN nuclear watchdog a full account of military dimensions of its nuclear program

• Iran ending support for terrorist groups, including Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Islamic Jihad

These are not unreasonable requests, but Iran has refused to meet any of them. Thus, the US should increase pressure on the Regime to force it to change its behaviour or allow the Resistance to take over.

Prof. Raymond Tanter, who served as a senior member on the Middle East Desk of the National Security Council staff in the Reagan-Bush administration, wrote: “Economic pressure and credible threats to reply to another attack on a US drone need to be reinforced by assisting the Iranian people in their efforts to change the regime from within. Regime change from within serves the U.S. national interest for Iran: Tehran has a viable coalition of dissidents as evidenced by NCRI.”