- Nov 2015
Hmm, it seems Trump gets ridiculed for trying to do the same with North Korea.We know that Iran isn't terribly worried about its civilian population. The Supreme Leader has the authority to do pretty much anything. The Supreme Leader is overseen by the Assembly of Experts, and the Assembly of Experts members are appointed by the Guardian Council. But the Guardian Council members are appointed by the Supreme Leader, so he pretty much has a lock on everything. Note that questioning the Supreme Leader is viewed as a criminal offense. This makes internal peaceful regime change impossible.
The Supreme Leader and his high-level supporters have no interest in ceding power, and the Supreme Leader has complete authority over the military. Iranian civilians cannot hope to forcefully overthrow the Iranian government. This makes internal violent regime change impossible.
The U.S. could assist the Iranian people and overthrow the Iranian government. However, the casualty count would be far greater than we saw in Iraq, it would NOT be over quickly, and there's no good reason to believe that the new regime would be a significant improvement over the old regime. After all, one advantage of the existing regime is that it's too powerful to be challenged internally. A new fledgling replacement regime would be in constant battle with varying factions, resulting in chaos and death for decades - and the only thing that these factions could agree on is a deep-seated resentment against the U.S. for getting involved. This makes external regime change non-viable.
So the best solution would be to work WITH the existing regime. Yes, it's distasteful, and they're barbaric, but they're the lynchpin keeping the powderkeg from exploding. The best solution is to find diplomatic ways to work WITH the Iranian regime. Find solutions, build treaties, and gradually nudge the regime into slowly changing their behavior, step-by-step, and working with them, and staying on good terms with them so we can accurately measure the risk they present.