On Fox & Friends, Newt Gingrich calls for regime change in Iran

Gingrich: “We had better develop a strategy that ultimately defeats the Iranian dictatorship and allows them to stay in power if they accept American terms, or ultimately over time replaces them.”

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Citation From the January 8, 2020, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends

NEWT GINGRICH (FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): The Iranian dictatorship has been at war with the United States at least since November of 1979. They have engaged in action after action after action. There have been 52 different court decisions in the U.S. that found them guilty of terrorism, killing Americans. They have a long record of trying to kill us. Their most recent statements today, they want to drive us out of the region. We have to have a long-term strategy that recognizes this is a regime which is dedicated to creating an anti-American movement and which is dedicated to driving us out of the Middle East. They just said so again this morning.


GINGRICH: So I think whatever happens on the daily news isn't the big deal. What happens is, do we design a strategy that actually changes the regime, or do we play games this week and then three months from now, they do something horrible and we play games for two weeks and then they do something horrible? That's what the record has been, that they get away with an amazing number of things including court findings and 9/11 commission findings that they directly helped the people who attacked us on 9/11 and killed 3,000 people.

BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Listen, they have no friends and here is the other question to consider. Do we say Iran is Iran, we're not going to do regime change, the country is too big and it's too diverse. It's not going to happen. But do we say OK, should we just allow Iran to have this iron grip on Iraq, or do we say with a placeholder of a prime minister, allow Iraqis the cover to have a fair election, like they had after the surge?

GINGRICH: Well I think first of all, I think we want the fair election in Iraq and we want to help the Iraqi people continue to move towards self-government and the demonstrations that have been going on in Iraq have been demonstrations in favor of an honest government and in favor of honest elections, but I don't think you should assume that Iran is too big to have regime change, when the Soviet Union was pretty darn big, and the Soviet Union collapsed. The Iranian dictatorship is not popular. They can't deliver better food. They can't deliver better gasoline. They can't deliver better housing. They can't deliver better jobs, and I think the average Iranian is a little tired of watching all their money go for overseas terrorism just to make the mullahs happy. So I wouldn't assume automatically that this is a stable dictatorship and that we have to passively assume that for the next 20 or 30 years, they get to hit us three or four times a year, we get to retaliate, but the game is just going to go on as a game. I don't think that's acceptable to the American people, and I don't think that it's, in the long run, is very good for the Middle East.


GINGRICH: I think we should think seriously about how long they have been at war with us, listen to what they say, as recently as today, when they say their goal is to drive us out of the region, and recognize that we had better develop a strategy that ultimately defeats the Iranian dictatorship and allows them to stay in power if they accept American terms or ultimately over time replaces them.