In an interview with Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines program, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich outlined his U.S. policy towards Iran. Gingrich said the U.S. should “sabotage” Iran’s oil and gas infrastructure as part of an effort to topple the Iranian government.
Al Jazeera’s Avi Lewis told Gingrich, “In the past, you’ve called for the bombing of Iran’s oil refineries.” Gingrich clarified, “I called for sabotage, not bombing. … Fundamental difference.” Gingrich explained that the U.S. should use “covert operations” against Iran’s refineries because they “have only one refinery that produces gasoline in the entire country.” (According to the Energy Information Administration, Iran has nine refineries operated by the National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company.)
When Lewis pressed Gingrich on the likely disastrous consequences of “sabotaging” Iran’s oil refineries, the former Speaker responded by claiming his plan was highly “strategic”:
GINGRICH: The only purpose of sabotaging them would be to create a gasoline-led crisis to try to replace the regime. I’m against using tactics that don’t have any strategic meaning.
I think we have a vested interest – the world has a vested interest – in a responsible Iranian government. […]
LEWIS: Which you can precipitate by provoking a gas crisis with black-ops sabotage? [Laughs] That’s the scenario you have suggested here.
GINGRICH: Look, I think that’s one piece out of many.
Watch it (at minute 8:35):
Previously, Gingrich has said, “I favor taking out Iranian and North Korean missiles on their sites.”
On the Wonk Room, Andrea Nill notes Gingrich’s crazy immigration reform idea: send all 12 million undocumented immigrants back to their home countries for a couple years, in exchange for a temporary guest-worker visa.