A national defense analyst believes President Trump is sending the wrong message with his decision to extend waivers on Iran's nuclear sanctions.
The president’s decision keeps alive the Iran nuclear deal, which is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - an agreement brokered by the Obama administration. The waiver effectively kicks the can down the road for another 90 days. The next deadline for extending waivers comes in mid-May.
The president’s decision was unwise, says Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy.
"It signals unmistakably - both to the regime and to the people of Iran - that the United States is still doing what Barack Obama did, which is stand with the tyrants of that country ... not with their people,” he tells OneNewsNow. “I think our interests are very much in helping to undermine and ultimately displace that regime, not propping it up."
Gaffney argues that the Iranian people are a force to be reckoned with. "The people themselves simply become an uncontainable challenge to the regime, especially if the roughly 50 percent of the population that isn't Persian begins to seek independence from Iran,” he states.
And that, says Gaffney, could help destabilize the country to the point where the regime actually falls. David Rubin, a former mayor of the Israeli city of Shiloh, says toppling the regime will be "a big, uphill battle."
"I don't think it's going to be as easy as it was in the former Soviet Union," Rubin tells OneNewsNow. "When the [Iranian] people [go] out on the streets, there's a much more violent crackdown on them going on right now. But there is a possibility - and it needs to be encouraged."
Rubin argues the U.S. must support any efforts for regime change - unlike President Obama did in 2009 when made it clear he stood with the ayatollahs, not the protesters. "President Trump, to his credit, has been doing the exact opposite," Rubin adds.
What are the (biblical) chances of a regime change occurring?
Many analysts are optimistic that the recent round of protests indicates the regime in Iran will eventually collapse, much like the communist dictatorships of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. But Jan Markell, founder and director of Olive Tree Ministries, says a democratic Iran doesn't fit with biblical prophecy.
"The Bible indicates that Iran will be a part of the Gog Magog Ezekiel 38-39 alliance of nations that invades Israel in the latter days," says the Messianic Jewish leader. "And to do that we would need the mullah-cracy, the mullahs, in power – probably the very ones who are in power now, or worse."
A long-awaited pre-emptive strike by Israel against the Iranian nuclear sites could happen in the next six months to a year, she says.
"Benjamin Netanyahu would be the prime minister who would give the orders, and Iran would be set back [as a result]," she describes. "... Iran is not going to go away but at least some of her nuclear power would be reduced – and this kind of attack could spark the Gog Magog Ezekiel 38-39 invasion."
Editor's note: Comments by David Rubin and Jan Markell added after story was originally posted.