Last update 11:56:33 AM
Iran's nuclear weapons program remains the principal threat to global and regional security, even as the Middle East descends into chaos, the former US ambassador to the UN has told a conference in Paris.
The policy of the US is 'the opposite of what should be done' and negotiating with the regime legitimizes their nuclear program, Ambassador John Bolton said.
He told the gathering of Iranians in the French capital: "Combined with the regime's role in financing terrorism, the world's central banker of international terrorism for 35 years, the Ayatollahs have been the principal cause for the destabilizing of the Middle East.
"Iran's nuclear weapons, when it achieves that objective, will make this situation even worse.
"But even as chaos and terror spread in Iraq, the United States must follow policies that do not enhance the power of the regime in Tehran because otherwise it will simply spread the problem even more broadly and risk even greater military hostilities.
"Instead of working with the regime in Tehran now is the time to overthrow the regime in Tehran."
He described last December's nuclear deal in Geneva as 'a triumph for the ayatollahs' and the worst example of appeasement since Munich in 1938.
Referring to last December's nuclear deal in Geneva as the worst example of appeasement since Munich in 1938, Ambassador Bolton added: "The deal that they achieved unfortunately represents not the strength of the ayatollahs but the weakness of the West.
"Extending the negotiations for another six months, which appears likely, will only allow the regime more time to advance its nuclear weapons program and avoid economic pressure from the West.
"It is a myth that the Iranian people support the ayatollah's nuclear weapons program. They know better than anybody else that nuclear weapons for the ayatollahs are their trump card to stay in power.
"Legitimizing Iran's nuclear program as the Geneva deal did, and making it permanent, legitimizes the regime. The people of Iran understand how devastating this would be for their hopes for free and fair elections and a representative government."
He also praised the MEK for doing in more than any other group in the past 15 years to bring the dangers of the program to public attention.
He said: "This is a time for the United States and the West as a whole to support all the legitimate opposition forces that commit to a nuclear free Iran and representative government as Madame Rajavi's platform for the future does.
"The only sound approach is that the declared policy of the United States should be the overthrow of the mullahs' totalitarian regime as soon as possible."