On the 40th anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution, President Trump attempted to reach out to Iranians in their own language by tweeting “the long-suffering Iranian people deserve a much brighter future.” Notably this marks the first time in history a sitting US president issued a social media statement in Persian, or the Farsi language.
Though we don’t expect the “birthday wishes” on the occasion of the Ayatollah’s founding their Islamic Republic to be received too warmly inside Iran, as the message also appeared a veiled threat of regime change.
“40 years of corruption. 40 years of repression. 40 years of terror. The regime in Iran has produced only #40YearsofFailure. The long-suffering Iranian people deserve a much brighter future” — the president tweeted in Farsi and in English.
40 years of corruption. 40 years of repression. 40 years of terror. The regime in Iran has produced only #40YearsofFailure. The long-suffering Iranian people deserve a much brighter future. pic.twitter.com/bA8YGsw9LA
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2019
We wonder what poor low-level CIA or State Department analyst had to be pulled from their work and into the White House to compose the foreign language tweet for the president.
But on a more serious note, a number of observers were quick to point out that between national security adviser John Bolton’s prior tweet and the president’s statement, it appears regime change in Tehran is indeed the administration’s current policy, something that’s been adamantly denied in the past.
For example starting last August Bolton has repeatedly claimed “our policy is not regime change” but opted for language that stops short, describing instead a policy of “unprecedented pressure on the government of Iran to change its behavior.” This didn’t stop political opponents like former Secretary of State John Kerry from accusing the White House pursuing an active policy of regime change in Iran.
Bolton earlier on Monday tweeted two messages with a similar theme with that of Trump’s, saying Iran’s leaders have “failed to fulfill its promises to uphold and safeguard the rights of its citizens” and that it’s up to the people to “determine the direction of their country” which Bolton follows by saying the US plans to “support the will of the Iranian people” and will “stand behind them”.