Iran to U.S.: Don't even imagine of regime change

July 14, 2017

TEHRAN - Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri, deputy chief of staff for the Iranian military, on Thursday attacked remarks made recently by high-ranking U.S. officials such as Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggesting they may seek to topple the Iranian government.

The words by Mattis echoed long-held suspicions by Tehran that the U.S. is plotting to forcefully oust the Iranian government, as it did by sponsoring a coup in 1953.

Jazayeri said Iran was unmoved by such comments from the administration of President Donald Trump, but vowed to respond with action.

"The ridiculous dreams of the Americans about the overthrow of the Islamic Republic of Iran is nothing more than disturbed delusions and we are not worried that they have preoccupied themselves in such a way," Jazayeri said, according to Press TV.

"We will respond to the nonsensical talks of the American authorities in the theaters of action," the general noted.

Prior to 1953, Iran's government was headed by a democratically elected prime minister named Mohammad Mosaddegh whose popularity ultimately allowed him to supersede the authority of the country's monarch, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, known as the Shah. Mosaddegh nationalized Iran's oil industry in 1951, infuriating the UK. The UK ultimately appealed to the CIA to sponsor a coup d'etat against Mosaddegh, which U.S. intelligence did in 1953.

The U.S. only publicly admitted its role in the 1953 coup in 2013, and last month the CIA released a trove of previously top-secret documents publicly revealing new details of the affair, known as Operation AJAX, Newsweek reported.

Relations between the U.S. and Iran somewhat warmed during the administration of President Barack Obama, who signed a deal that lifted U.S. sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear program. Trump, however, has taken a more hardline stance toward the regional power.

"Until the Iranian people can get rid of this theocracy, these guys who think they can tell the people even which candidates they get a choice of. It’s going to be very, very difficult," Mattis said Monday in an interview he granted to a high school journalism student, according to the Middle East Institute.

Comments by Mattis, who has long advocated for tougher U.S. action against Iran, followed Tillerson's response to the House Foreign Affairs Committee last month in which the statesman explained U.S. policy toward Iran as being "to push back on [its regional] hegemony,… and to work towards support of those elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of that government."

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan also told reporters Wednesday that, before the U.S. goes after Iran's internal political affairs, it should address its own scandals and potential shortcomings.

"Whenever the Americans have intended to make any type action against us or hire proxies to this end, our nation has proved that it makes them regret their deeds," Dehghan stated.

"The U.S. secretary of defense and the ruling system had better think of resolving their internal issues and study the root causes that will most possibly cause the current U.S. administration to collapse in a not so far future and will make the country's political system face a lot of serious challenges," he added.

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