The National Interest

Since President Donald Trump took office in 2017, the most consistent theme of his foreign policy has been his tough stance toward Iran. In a fundamental shift from his predecessor, President Trump terminated the Iran nuclear deal and replaced it with the Iran strategy. The first core element of this strategy “focuses on neutralizing the Government of Iran’s destabilizing influence and constraining its aggression.” In a speech outlining the new U.S. strategy on Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained that the Iranian regime had used the money from the nuclear deal to fuel “proxy wars across the Middle East.” To confront Iran, Secretary Pompeo stated that the United States would exert “unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime.” Although financial pressure is essential to thwart Iran’s ability to support terrorism, it is not, by itself, a comprehensive strategy to roll back Iran from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon.

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