June 14, 2019

Maximum Pressure on Iran Means Maximum Risk of War

Trump’s strategy is creating a crisis, not solving one.

By Ilan Goldenberg

Reports of attacks Thursday in the Gulf of Oman against a Norwegian and a Japanese oil tanker signal a potentially significant increase of tensions in the Middle East among Iran, the United States, and the Gulf States. Washington should not let Iran off the hook, as Tehran is likely responsible for this inexcusable attack. At the same time, observers should recognize that the attack is a direct result of the Trump administration’s failing so-called maximum pressure strategy, which is aimed at bringing Iran back to the negotiating table with the United States but is instead leading the two countries to the brink of conflict.

Even though U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration lacks credibility, and there are certainly hawks inside the administration willing to inflate intelligence, Iran almost certainly carried out the attack. Iran has a history of conducting these types of operations—and reportedly conducted a similar attack just last month.

Read the full article in Foreign Policy.

  • Reports
    • September 2, 2020
    Toward a More Proliferated World?

    U.S. policy must adapt unless Washington wants to be faced with a more proliferated world in the future....

    By Eric Brewer, Ilan Goldenberg, Joseph Rodgers, Maxwell Simon & Kaleigh Thomas

  • Commentary
    • August 26, 2020
    Sharper: The Future of U.S. Sanctions Policy

    Sanctions are increasingly common in U.S. foreign policy and economic statecraft. But they are not a cure-all....

    By Kaleigh Thomas, Cole Stevens & Chris Estep

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Policy
    • August 18, 2020
    Europe Can Preserve the Iran Nuclear Deal Until November

    Over the course of the Trump administration, Europe and Iran have managed to avert the collapse of the nuclear deal....

    By Ellie Geranmayeh & Elisa Catalano Ewers

  • Reports
    • August 4, 2020
    Reengaging Iran

    The international community may find Iran ready to consider a return to negotiations in 2021—regardless of the results in November....

    By Ilan Goldenberg, Elisa Catalano Ewers & Kaleigh Thomas

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia