Daily Israel Report

Gingrich Vows to Replace Iran's Regime

GOP contender Newt Gingrich all but declared war on Iran's Mullahs during the AIPAC conference saying he would do away with their regime.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 3/6/2012, 9:18 PM

Newt Gingirch
Newt Gingirch
Reuters

GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich sought to upstage his fellow Republican contenders on Tuesday by saying he would "undermine and replace the Iranian dictatorship."

Gingrich made his pledge at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference on Tuesday, where would-be Republican presidential candidates are seeking to score Jewish votes.

"[I will] undermine and replace the Iranian dictatorship by every available method short of war," Gingrich said via satellite to AIPAC attendees.

In addition to pledging regime change in Iran, Gingrich said he would do everything in his power to bolster Israeli's ability to counter and halt a nuclear Iran, which includes providing "all available intelligence to the Israeli government."

Throughout the AIPAC conference, talk of possible military action with Iran has been a continuous theme, and Gingrich was no exception.

"We will not keep talking while the Iranians keep building," Gingrich said, striking at US President Barack Obama’s dogged commitment to sanctions and diplomacy to stop Iran’s bid for nuclear weapons.  

Gingrich also dismissed renewed nuclear talks between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, announced Tuesday.

"The red line is now because the Iranians are now deepening their commitment to nuclear weapons," Gingrich – who advocates striking Iran's nuclear sites militarily – said.

He appeared to be referring to disappointment among Israeli officials with Obama, who has refused to commit to red lines vis-à-vis Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

In an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, Gingrich on Monday said Israeli shouldn't give the US prior notice if it does decide to strike Iran.

"If I were the Israelis, I wouldn't give this administration one minute's notice, because someone will leak it," Gingrich bluntly told Hannity.

Gingrich was echoing charges by Sen. John McCain who recently accused the Obama administration of intentionally leaking Israeli secrets in order to undermine Jerusalem's stature in its face-off with Iran.

The former House speaker also asserted US President Obama's policy in the Middle East was a display of appeasement and weakness.

"We need a fundamental reassessment of our entire understanding of the threat of radical Islam; we need an administration with the courage to use the words radical Islam," Gingrich said.

"I will follow an American foreign policy seeking American strength."