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The Flaw in Trump’s Maximum Pressure Campaign Toward Iran

Dennis Ross and Dana Stroul

Also available in العربية

Washington Post

August 29, 2019


Tehran won’t change its behavior without the prospect of real economic relief, coupled with the threat of meaningful consequences for bringing the region to the brink of war.

The Trump administration says its maximum-pressure campaign on Iran is working. If only that were true. The administration has consistently made the argument that economic sanctions would deprive the Iranian regime of money and that less money would mean less bad behavior and more concessions at the negotiating table. Bargaining with Iran is not the same as a closing a real estate deal, however. The inescapable conclusion, after surveying the region’s conflicts, is that a U.S. strategy based exclusively on starving Tehran of money cannot by itself compel changes in Iran’s regional behavior...

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