National Security

MSNBC Guest: America Is ‘Pretty Murderous’ Compared to Iran

Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs said Friday that the United States should not push for regime change in Iran because of America's "murderous" history.

MSNBC host Katy Tur asked if there was a peaceful way the United States could help Iranians overthrow the murderous regime that's ruled them for decades, but Sachs rejected her premise.

"I wouldn't put it that way because we're pretty murderous also," Sachs said. "We've launched more wars than any other country in modern times. We've launched war after war after war. So I don't think it's really our business to change the regime."

Sachs argued the United States has been creating instability in the Middle East for decades while blaming the Iranian government.

"I hope Americans remember we overthrew the government in 1953, bringing in an authoritarian state, overthrowing a democracy," he said. "Why? Because they were interested in having some of their own oil in their own budget coffers. So we've played games for so long, and then the region is unstable and we say, ‘Oh look, it's their fault.' We're creating this instability."

Sachs also criticized Trump for not being sufficiently informed on the situation.

"The alternative, first, is to know something which, unfortunately, we have a president who doesn't know anything," he said. "But if we knew something, we would stop provoking. We would stop trying deliberately to destabilize."

Sachs also blamed the Trump administration's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, saying the agreement had international backing, while Trump's withdrawal from it was dangerous.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States's drone strike killing Iranian general and designated terrorist Qassem Soleimani interrupted an "imminent attack" on American elements in Iraq. The attack has been criticized by Democratic politicians for distracting from the impeachment inquiry. Russia's foreign minister also called it a "short-sighted" escalatory move.