The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) received presidential approval for a covert operation in Iran aimed at destabilizing the Islamic Republic by "non-lethal" means, ABC news reported early Saturday morning. According to the report, the plan includes several non-military measures by which the US could deeply harm the Iranian economy through global measures while simultaneously undermining the regime on a local political level by distributing propaganda and building on an already existing lack of support for the regime among Iranians.
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Global economic measures would include manipulating currencies and making large-scale monetary transactions which would damage Iranian companies.
A commentator pointed "ferment among the students and the intellectuals" of Iran as fertile ground from which propaganda and encouragement towards the local population to overthrow the government could bear fruit.
Another avenue explored by the CIA, according to the report, was supporting the Jundullah militia which operates from the Pakistan-Iran border.
Jundullah (Army of God in Farsi) is a militant Islamic organization based in Waziristan.
The organization, reportedly affiliated with Al-Qaida, is part of the Baloch insurgency in Pakistan as well as in Iran's Sistan and Baluchistan Province. The group claims to represent all Sunnis in Iran, regardless of ethnicity.
Jundullah carried out attacks on Iranian forces in the past. The measure of US contact with and support of the Jundullah militia remains unknown.
The US administration reportedly approved the 'soft revolution' plan after deeming the overall risks and potential losses involved in overt military action to be greater than the potential gains to be made from such an endeavor.