A preemptive military strike is unlikely to destroy Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons sites, so the United States must embrace a policy of regime change in Tehran that involves aiding opposition groups, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on Monday.
“The other equally unacceptable future is a preemptive military attack,” Mr. Gingrich said.
Mr. Gingrich said he was very doubtful that either Israel or the United States could launch an attack that could cripple a major part of Iran’s nuclear program because the facilities are dispersed across the country.
“There will be huge civilian collateral damage,” he warned. “The world will be appalled at the cost.”
He also predicted that the Iranian regime would not abandon its quest for nuclear weapons, even after an attack.
“A week after the bombing campaign, why would you think [the Iranian regime is] going to back off,” he added.
The United States should have “a very clear position of regime change” in Iran, he added. Instead, he said, “We isolate the most effective ally we have in the Iranian people and decide they are unacceptable.”
The MeK has sought to overthrow Iran’s theocratic regime. It was given shelter in Iraq by Saddam Hussein and built a paramiltary base at Camp Ashraf north of Baghdad. U.S. troops disarmed the dissidents in 2003.
In a bid to facilitate talks with the Iranian regime, the Clinton administration listed the MeK as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997.
A U.S. appeals court in June ordered Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to decide within four months on removing the MeK from the terror list.View Entire Story
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Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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