Listen to the audio of Newt Gingrich’s speech Sunday night to thousands of AIPAC delegates. Here’s Ron Kampeas’ news brief:
WASHINGTON (JTA) — Newt Gingrich addressed the AIPAC policy conference and called for ousting the regime in Iran and bombing its missile sites.
Gingrich, a former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and a likely presidential candidate in 2012, faulted the last Bush administration and the current Obama administration for engaging with Iran as long as it is led by theocrats who threaten Israel.
"We need to recognize that there are some regimes we will never be able to cut a deal with because they are in fact evil," he said Sunday, the opening day of this year’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference, drawing close to 7,000 delegates.
Gingrich likened negotiations with the current Iranian regime to negotiating with Adolf Hitler, and called for "enforcing the disruption of gasoline supplies until the Iranian economy broke, the ayatollahs were ousted and a new regime was in place without a single shot fired." That earned thunderous applause.
Gingrich also called for a military strike to destroy missiles in Iran and North Korea.
"I favor taking out Iranian and North Korean missiles on their sites," he said.
The Obama administration is intensifying both outreach to Iran as well as sanctions, both toward getting the Islamic Republic to end its suspected nuclear weapons program. Part of its strategy is to persuade the Iranian regime that the West does not seek its ouster.
In advance of the speech, Gingrich told The Jerusalem Post that the Obama administration is bent on confontation with Israel:
"They are systematically setting up the most decisive confrontation that we’ve ever seen," the leading Republican politician told The Jerusalem Post, referring to news reports about the administration’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"There’s almost an eagerness to take on the Israeli government to make a point with the Arab world," he said, speaking to the Post ahead of his speech before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference.
He called US President Barack Obama’s program of engagement on Iran a "fantasy," and his Middle East policies "very dangerous for Israel." He summed up Obama’s approach as "the clearest adoption of weakness since Jimmy Carter."