Obama administration’s mixed message on regime change in Iran

How does a senior U.S. intelligence official tell a Washington Post reporter that the administration’s goal in imposing sanctions on Iran is to bring about regime change, if that is not in fact the goal?

Washington Post -- By Karen DeYoung and Scott Wilson, Tuesday, January 10, 4:22 PM

The article (cached version) with this headline (which was later substantially re-written) begins:

The revised version of the article, under a revised headline, “Public ire one goal of Iran sanctions, U.S. official says”, begins:

The Obama administration sees economic sanctions against Iran as building public discontent that will help compel the government to abandon an alleged nuclear weapons program, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official.

In addition to influencing Iranian leaders directly, the official said, “another option here is that [sanctions] will create hate and discontent at the street level so that the Iranian leaders realize that they need to change their ways.”

The intelligence official’s remarks pointed to what has long been an unstated reality of sanctions: Although designed to pressure a government to change its policies, they often impose broad hardships on a population.

So who would this senior intelligence official be? CIA director David Petraeus? And was he misquoted? Or was he being too candid? Or is the Washington Post colluding with the administration in sending out a mixed message?

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2 thoughts on “Obama administration’s mixed message on regime change in Iran

  1. Steve

    The Americans have long memories and a bi-partisan mindset to hold a grudged (witness the Cuban embargo and the length of time it took to get a resemblance of normalization with Vietnam). They remember only too well the acute embrassment of the storming of their embassy after their puppet was desposed in the 70’s.

    Any theocracy is an anathema to me but the way the US bullies to get revenge is the pervue of a much lesser nation.

  2. Norman

    A fallacy. It’s only because the neoconservative’s keep whipping up the past, that it has legs. With the dumbing down of the American’s, it doesn’t take too much to keep them in line. It’s the other ones, who don’t drink the kool-aid, that can’t be controlled. American time span on any given subject coincides with the time it takes to eat a twinkie.

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