WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (UPI) — Iranian officials are convinced Washington is pursuing a policy of regime change in the Islamic Republic, a former CIA analyst said.
Tehran blamed its adversaries in Israel for the Wednesday death of Iranian nuclear research scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, who was killed in a car bomb attack in north Tehran.
His death follows heightened diplomatic and economic pressure from Western allies convinced Iran is working on technology that could be used to build a nuclear bomb. Tehran, however, maintains its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
Paul Pillar, a regional expert and former CIA analyst, told news agency Inter Press Service the Iranians are certain Washington is pursuing a policy of regime change in Tehran.
“The Iranians are convinced that that is our goal,” he said.
Pressed by reporters on a possible U.S. role in the Wednesday assassination, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said only that Washington condemned “any assassination” and offered “sympathies” to Roshan’s families. During news briefings last week, she said the purpose of sanctions was to “tighten the noose” on the regime.
Greg Thielmann, a former intelligence analyst at the State Department, told IPS those statements weren’t “carefully considered.”
“I’m not convinced that the U.S. attitude has changed but this is an example of how sloppy and thoughtless we are,” he was quoted as saying.