The sanctions have indeed had a tangible effect on the Iranian economy and have deprived the regime of significant income, most notably the oil export sanctions that have cut the regime off from its biggest source of revenue. The Trump administration has also sanctioned several key regime figures.
As well as the economic goals of the sanctions, the Secretary of State emphasised that the Trump administration is hoping to push the Iranian regime into changing its behaviour. He said that the administration hopes to push the leadership of Iran into stopping its financing of militias and proxy groups across the region, particularly in Syria and Lebanon.
Speaking about another positive impact of the Trump administrations actions, Pompeo said that the Arab countries and Israel are working closely together now. Speaking about the evolving situation in the region, he said: “The framework that had set the Middle East for so many years was the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, and now the major destabilizing force in the Middle East is the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is truly historic. And they have come to understand that they have a common threat, and they are increasingly finding ways to work together to keep each of their nations secure.”
This past weekend, the Iranian Resistance held its annual Free Iran gathering, this time in Albania – home to the PMOI / MEK there. A large number of officials and prominent figures from around the world travelled to attend the gathering and they voiced their support for the only viable alternative to the Iranian regime.
The speakers called for an end to appeasement of the Iranian regime, with many applauding the Trump administration’s tough approach to Iran’s belligerence. Many of the speakers called on European leaders to start treating the regime with more firmness, given that it is the number one state sponsor of terror in the world.
There were also calls for the international community, in particular the Europeans, to take the suffering of the people of Iran into account. For decades, the people of Iran have been denied the most basic of freedoms and the regime is responsible for the most horrific of human rights abuses. They said that the Europeans have been shamefully putting their economic interests before the people.
The consensus was that regime change is very close and that it would happen from within the country, with the people of Iran being the main force behind it. They emphasised that there is no need for military conflict, but emphasised that the people of Iran need to be supported by the international community.