Trump’s Iran Strategy Is Still Just an Anti-Obama Vendetta

Trump’s Iran Strategy Is Still Just an Anti-Obama Vendetta
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gives a press conference in Tehran, Feb. 16, 2020 (AP photo by Ebrahim Noroozi).

Since President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the international deal designed to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, the time it might take Tehran to build such a weapon if it so chooses has dropped from more than a year to just a few months. The world now has much less time to react if that happens—and no good options in response.

After Washington, to the dismay of its allies, reimposed economic sanctions and demanded that Iran do more to change its behavior, there have been no new negotiations and no clarity on exactly what the Trump administration wants from Iran. If anything, the “maximum pressure” campaign seems only to have strengthened the hard-liners in Tehran.

For a year after Trump withdrew from the nuclear agreement, the European Union tried to preserve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA as the deal is known, while Iran continued to comply as it waited to see if the EU could find a way to mitigate the impact of the new U.S. sanctions. When it became clear that Washington’s threat to punish any company doing business with Tehran was more compelling than the EU’s desire to maintain relations, Iran’s oil exports and other trade dropped precipitously and its compliance with the JCPOA weakened.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review