As many Iranians celebrated 40 years since the Islamic Revolution, US President Donald Trump and his adviser tweeted about “failure" – referring to the government in Tehran, but just as easily applying to themselves and the US.
February 11 marked 40 years since Shah Reza Pahlavi was overthrown and revolutionaries led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took power in Tehran. Both Trump and his National Security Advisor John Bolton marked the occasion with tweets denouncing the “Iranian regime” and saying that the US stands with the “Iranian people.”
“The 40th anniversary of the Iranian regime only serves to highlight four decades of failure and broken promises,” the hawkish presidential adviser tweeted, while his boss argued that the "long-suffering Iranian people deserve a much brighter future."
While it was clear from the context that they were referring to the Islamic Republic authorities, the claim of failure applied the US just as well. Washington never got over 1979, while Bolton has been an outspoken advocate for “regime change” in Tehran for years, going so far as to actually promise that the Iranian revolution would never turn 40.
“The outcome of the president’s policy review should be to determine that the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 revolution will not last until its 40th birthday,” Bolton told a convention of Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) . “The behavior and the objectives of the regime are not going to change and, therefore, the only solution is to change the regime itself.”
“And that’s why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran!” Bolton told the MEK.
It was one of Bolton’s eight speeches addressing the group, which reportedly pays speakers up to $50,000.
MEK describes itself as the biggest rival to the Islamic Republic authorities, and considers itself the true revolutionaries of 1979. It was based in Iraq for many years, and fought on the Iraqi side against Iran in the 1980s. The US considered it a terrorist organization until 2012, when that designation was officially removed. MEK is currently based in France.
Not surprisingly, MEK supporters were appreciative of Bolton’s tweets on Monday.
Meanwhile in Iran, supporters of the government marched in great numbers on the streets of Tehran, while someone photoshopped the famous photo of Bolton from the Venezuela-related White House press conference last month into a meme, showing him bruised by the Iranian revolution – though something may have been lost in translation.
To say the US government took the Iranian revolution poorly would be an understatement. Washington has tried everything short of overt invasion to overthrow the Islamic Republic over the past four decades. The end of US-backed monarchy in Tehran prompted Washington’s longest-running national emergency, which is still active. In 1980, the US backed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran; the eight-year conflict that killed over 500,000 people failed to change borders or overthrow the Iranian government.
Bolton and Trump were not spared criticism in the US, either, with a number of social media users pointing out that Iran’s government is none of Washington’s business.
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