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President Donald Trump in the Oval Office with a signed executive order to increase Iran sanctions. President Donald Trump holds up a signed executive order to increase sanctions on Iran, in the Oval Office of the White House, Washington, June 24, 2019 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

Trump Keeps ‘Maximum Pressure’ on Iran, Even Though It Is Failing in Venezuela

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Editor’s Note: Guest columnist Neil Bhatiya is filling in for Judah Grunstein this week.

Escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf peaked last week when President Donald Trump abruptly canceled U.S. airstrikes against Iranian military assets, after Iran shot down an unmanned American surveillance drone over the Gulf of Oman. Trump’s ordering of military strikes, only to change his mind apparently at the last moment, has raised more questions about the administration’s strategy toward Iran and its ultimate goals. Trump’s decision to call off the airstrikes seemed to indicate that he doesn’t see a military solution to this growing crisis, even though that view was thrown for a loop Tuesday when Trump warned on Twitter that “Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration.” ...

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