President Donald Trump campaigned on promises to extract the United States from wars in the Middle East. But his national security adviser, Republicans in Congress and trusted allies in Israel and Saudi Arabia are pushing for a confrontation with Iran.
The rationale for taking an aggressive stance with Tehran may differ, but leaders in Tel Aviv, Riyadh and hawks in Washington share a common view that diplomacy with Iran is mostly futile and that the regime will only respond to massive economic pressure and, if necessary, military force.
"The behavior and objectives of the regime are not going to change," John Bolton, now Trump's national security adviser, said at a convention organized by an Iranian opposition group in 2017. "Therefore the only solution is to change the regime itself."
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