Of course, Trump’s own perspective on the future of American relations with the Islamic Republic is generally recognized to be somewhat at odds with that of his leading foreign policy advisors, including National Security Advisor John Bolton, who has openly advocated for regime change and has repeatedly endorsed the efforts being made toward that end by Iran’s leading democratic opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran.
Since Bolton declared early in May that an aircraft carrier group would be making an accelerated deployment to the Persian Gulf, President Trump and others have taken care to insist that such measures are intended only to deter against threats from the Islamic Republic. The carrier deployment was reportedly ordered in response to credible intelligence regarding the posture of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its proxy groups outside Iran’s borders. But an expanded US military presence has also been widely regarded as part of the administration’s declared strategy of “maximum pressure” on Iran’s theocratic regime.
As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained in his first major foreign policy speech one year ago, the purpose of that pressure was to compel the regime to make a dozen significant changes to its behavior and to thereby act “like a normal country.” However, Trump’s latest remarks, delivered in a joint news conference during a visit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, seemed to draw back from that broad-minded goal. Instead, Trump returned to the sort of narrow focus upon the issue of Iran’s nuclear program.
Iran Briefing | News Press Focus on Human Rights Violation by IRGC, Iran Human Rights
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