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Trump’s Lose-Lose Iran Strategy

As the Trump administration spins its wheels over Iran, the world is reminded of why the Obama administration and the Europeans went to such lengths to develop a new approach to dealing with the country. By resuscitating a failed strategy, Trump and his advisers are risking yet another catastrophic war in the Middle East.

BERLIN – One can only guess what US President Donald Trump hopes to achieve in Iran. Does he have designs on a “better” nuclear treaty than the 2015 deal from which he withdrew the United States? Are he and his advisers assuming that if they pile up enough demands, the regime will be forced to submit, or even abdicate? Or are they setting the stage for an attempt at regime change through military force?

In all likelihood, they themselves have no idea. That may be just as well, because none of the above is going to happen.

To be sure, Trump’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, as the 2015 nuclear deal is officially known) fulfilled one of his key campaign promises. The problem is that neither he nor his advisers seem to have considered what would come next.

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