Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who serves as US President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, assured an Iranian expat group in New York on Saturday that the regime of the ayatollahs would face a “successful revolution” due to US economic pressure.
“I don’t know when we’re going to overthrow them,” Giuliani told the Iran Uprising Summit, held at a Times Square hotel by the Organization of Iranian-American Communities. “It could be in a few days, months, a couple of years. But it’s going to happen,” he promised, according to a Reuters report from the event.
Giuliani has sounded a tough tone on Iran in the past, including backing regime change in Tehran. But the Trump administration has insisted that its policy of sanctioning Iran over its nuclear program and military interventions throughout the Middle East is not aimed at regime change, but at changing the current regime’s policies.
In August, National Security Adviser John Bolton told reporters that “regime change in Iran is not American policy but what we want is massive change in the regime’s behavior.”
The US State Department has in the past distanced the administration from Giuliani’s comments on Iran.
“The people of Iran obviously have now had enough,” Giuliani said on Saturday. “The sanctions are working. The currency is going to nothing … these are the kinds of conditions that lead to successful revolution.”
A long-time friend of Trump, Giuliani was appointed to the president’s personal legal team in April. An attack dog of the style favored by Trump, the 74-year-old is his chief lawyer for the TV cameras, strenuously defending his boss – and occasionally attracting ridicule for controversial remarks, most recently for his “truth isn’t truth” comment.
Giuliani was mayor of New York in 1994-2001, when he presided over a massive drop in crime and was feted for his leadership after the September 11, 2001, attacks. He emerged from the experience with hawkish foreign policy views.
He was previously the US attorney in Manhattan in the 1980s, famous for launching a crackdown on the mafia, and chairs an international security consulting firm.
AFP contributed to this report.