President Trump's new personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, told reporters Saturday his client is "committed to regime change" in Iran, which Giuliani cast as a way to make Tehran a U.S. and Israeli ally. Trump suggested as much on Twitter in December, responding to news of anti-government protests in Iran by saying "Iran is failing at every level" and it is "TIME FOR CHANGE!" He did not specify whether he meant forcible, U.S.-led regime change, like that in Iraq and Libya.
The United States' last round of regime change in Iran — the 1953 CIA-orchestrated coup that ousted a democratic government; installed a pro-U.S. monarch; and set in motion the events that created the present Iranian government — is the basis for poor U.S.-Iran relations to this day.
Tehran, meanwhile, issued a warning Saturday against U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump has threatened. "If America leaves the nuclear deal, this will entail historic regret for it," said Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. "We have plans to resist any decision by Trump on the nuclear accord," he continued. "Orders have been issued to our atomic energy organization ... and to the economic sector to confront America's plots against our country."