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Tony Blair calls for regime change in Iran and Syria

"Regime change in Tehran would immediately make me more optimistic about the whole of the region."

It looks like Tony Blair is up to his old tricks. The former prime minister has given an interview to the Times (£) to mark the ten-year anniversary of the attacks of 11 September 2001, which kick-started the disastrous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, he expresses no regret for the countless lives lost, or his responsibility for the shortsightedness that led Britain into a decade of apparently endless war. No, instead, he holds Iran accountable for continuing the wars and calls for regime change:

Regime change in Tehran would immediately make me significantly more optimistic about the whole of the region.

If Iran were to acquire nuclear weapons capability, it would destabilise the region very, very badly.

They continue to support groups that are engaged with terrorism and the forces of reaction. In Iraq, one of the main problems has been the continued intervention of Iran and likewise in Afghanistan.

He also called on the international community to hasten the departure of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, saying:

He is not going to lead the programme of change in Syria now. He has shown he is not capable of reform. His position is untenable. There is no process of change that leaves him intact.

Blair, who is international peace envoy for the Middle East, emphasised that he was not calling for military action in Iran but, given his record, he might be better off not mentioning regime change at all.