United States seeks ‘regime change’ in Iran : Rouhani

Vastavam web: The United States is seeking “regime change” in Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday, adding that the current U.S. administration is the most hostile that the Islamic Republic has faced in its four decades. Tensions have increased between Iran and America after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from a multi-lateral agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme in May, saying it was flawed because it did not include curbs on Iran’s ballistic missiles program or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.

“There was a time when there was one person who had enmity. The rest were moderate. Now the worst have gathered around each other,” he added in a speech marking the beginning of the academic year at Tehran University. In Washington, a U.S. State Department spokesman repeated its position that it wants a change in Iran’s behaviour but “the United States is not seeking regime change.” “Our hope is that ultimately the regime will make meaningful changes in its behaviour,” he added.

“Reducing the legitimacy of the system is their final goal. When they say getting rid of, regime change in their own words, how does regime change happen? Through reducing legitimacy, otherwise a regime doesn’t change,” He used the English phrase “regime change” to emphasise his point. Washington reintroduced steps against Iran’s currency trade, metals and auto sectors in August.

Vice-president Eshaq Jahangiri played down the impact of the planned restrictions. Iran has been able to find new partners to buy its oil even though some countries have stopped purchases, Jahangiri said on Sunday, according to Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). “America thinks Saudi Arabia can replace this oil. But right now Iran’s oil has reached more than $80 and with half the previous exports we will have the same income as before,” he added on comments on the IRIB website.