THE PROSPECTS FOR REGIME CHANGE IN IRAN
S. Rob Sobhani
The people are very dissatisfi ed, and they are right to be so, and I swear to God that the society is on the brink of explosion. If this discontent increases, as is the case, the regime will be threatened.
Ayatollah Ebrahim Amini
Assembly of Experts
(Power to Appoint
Supreme Leader) 2002
The question before us today is: What are the prospects of Iran's revolutionary government giving way to reform or overthrow over the next 10-20 years? Furthermore, and more importantly for the United States, what groups and forces within Iran are opposed to the current revolutionary government and/or its efforts to develop nuclear power and long-range strategic weapons systems?
The purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate that Iran's revolutionary government can be overthrown within 2 years should the United States adopt a more robust policy of empowering the Iranian people to change the regime in Tehran. A regime change in Iran would put an immediate end to Iran's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and instead focus the efforts of the new secular government on the domestic priority of pulling Iran out of its current Third World status. Equally important, the demise of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the hands of the Iranian people would send a very powerful message to the rest of the Muslim world that Islam, as a form of governance, has failed. The failure of political Islam would be a victory for the United States and our war against Islamic fundamentalism.
The end result of a more robust policy on Iran would allow