The State Department video, posted in Farsi to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other websites, top administration officials are seen advocating for regime change in front of the closed Iranian Embassy in Washington, specifically highlighting Iran’s ongoing relationship with al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah as evidence that the Regime is using the people’s money for malign purposes.
The US Special Representative on Iran, Brian Hook, said in the video that the US has taken good care of the embassy because they hope to hand it back to a new democratic government that cares for its people.
The video contrasts between shots of US government officials on Embassy Row and images of the violence, poverty, and protests that are now a part of everyday life in Iran.
According to high-level sources who spoke to The Washington Times, this is seen by the administration as a chance to drive a wedge between the Regime and its longest-suffering victims.
This is just one of many ways that the US has sought to put pressure on the Iranian Regime since the beginning of last year, with other instances being public support for the rights of the protesters in January, the withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and the reimposition of sanctions.
All of these have made it clear that the US does not intend to deal with the Regime unless it changes.
Last week, Vice President Mike Pence told the Munich Security Conference that Europe should also exit the nuclear deal and put pressure on Iran.
He said: “The time has come for our European partners to stop undermining US sanctions against this murderous revolutionary regime. The time has come for our European partners to stand with us and with the Iranian people, our allies and friends in the region.”
Europe has refused to get on board with the sanctions, even as major European companies dropped out of Iran, and has even set up a financial mechanism to allow the purchase of Iranian oil. However, the mechanism will not come into place unless Iran passes anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing bills by the end of this month, which there is no indication of, and even then, the mechanism will still violate US sanctions, while only allowing Iran to purchase non-sanctioned goods (i.e. medicine and food).
Hook told NBC News: “We follow the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and the Iranian regime violates it. There’s something hopeful about how we are maintaining their embassy, and someday we will return the keys to the Iranian people.”
He went on to explain that Iran had turned the American embassy in Iran into a “propaganda museum open to the public”, with “Death to America” signs, but the Iranian public doesn’t hate America, they hate the Regime.