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Kerry: Trump administration 'pursuing a policy of regime change' in Iran
Former Secretary of State John Kerry warned Tuesday that the Trump administration is pursuing "regime change" in Iran with his history of threats and disengagement toward Iran's government.
In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, the top diplomat under former President Obama said the Trump administration's decision in May to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement was an attempt to isolate the country and force major changes within Iran's government.
"And here's the reason the administration is trying to do this: They are pursuing a policy of regime change," Kerry said.
"And the United States of America, historically, does not do regime change very well," he continued.
His remarks come despite denials from John Bolton, President Trump's national security adviser, that Trump is considering a concrete plan to force regime change in Iran. The president frequently attacked U.S.-led efforts at regime change, particularly in Iraq and Libya, during his successful 2016 White House run.
"Our policy is not regime change, but we want to put unprecedented pressure on the government of Iran to change its behavior, and so far, they've shown no indication they're prepared to do that," Bolton told Fox News in August.
"[But] they should not underestimate our determination that we're going to put pressure on them until they give up their pursuit of nuclear weapons and all the other activities that I mentioned," Bolton added in the same interview. "That, we are very serious about."
The Trump administration reimposed sanctions on Iran last month that were originally lifted under the Obama administration as a result of the historic Iran nuclear agreement. European countries have sought to maintain and uphold the agreement, which prevents Iran from enriching uranium for weapons development, following the Trump administration's exit in May.
The president issued an all-caps threat aimed at Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, in May, warning him that if Iran threatened the U.S. "YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE."