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Commentators and Editorial Boards Back Diplomacy, Oppose ‘Maximum Pressure’

Diplomacy Works. 'Maximum Pressure' Does Not.

Prominent foreign policy commentators have consistently made clear that withdrawal from the JCPOA was a major mistake, that ‘maximum pressure’ and a push towards confrontation with Iran has been a failure, and that we must pursue diplomacy in order to block Iranian pathways to a nuclear weapon and prevent greater conflict.

Editorial Board, The Iran Nuclear Deal Was Working. Restoring It Is the Right Course. | The Boston Globe
“Americans should recall what happened when Trump and his team made the extremely unlikely perfect the enemy of the already-established good. Not only was no progress made, but Iran moved closer to a possible bomb, making the Middle East a more dangerous place.

Daniel Drezner, The Anatomy of a Sanctions Failure | The Washington Post
“[S]anctions to date have failed to achieve the United States’ stated intentions. The most obvious example of failure has been Iran’s decision to restart its nuclear program in 2019. It is now much closer to building a functional nuclear device…There is no success to locate in this case…Catastrophic policy failures live in infamy. The best Iran hawks can hope for in the next few years is a policy failure that does not quite compare to Munich.”

Thomas Friedman, Trump’s Iran Policy Has Become a Disaster for the U.S. and Israel | The New York Times
“The judges have voted and the results are in: President Donald Trump’s decision to tear up the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 — a decision urged on by his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu — was one of the dumbest, most poorly thought out and counterproductive U.S. national security decisions of the post-Cold War era.”

Editorial Board, Biden must undo Trump’s original sin on the Iran nuclear deal | Los Angeles Times
“President Biden must make it clear that his administration is willing to move quickly to lift the sanctions reimposed by Trump if Iran agrees to return to full compliance with the agreement. And he and his diplomats should be open to creative ways to have the U.S. and Iran act simultaneously to fulfill their obligations…[T]he best way to engage Iran on these other issues is to undo the original sin of Trump’s repudiation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan — so that Iran has no excuse to violate it.”

Samantha Vinograd, Trump’s Iran Policy Has Failed Across the Board | CNN
“Trump took a go-big-or-go-home approach with Iran and it didn’t work — probably because it was unrealistic and ill-conceived. After the President withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPOA) nuclear deal in 2018, Pompeo laid out 12 demands Iran would have to meet in areas unrelated to the nuclear program before the US would return to the negotiating table. To pressure Iran to meet those demands, the Trump administration also increased sanctions. It’s clear that approach just didn’t work — Iran did not meet those demands and negotiations didn’t resume. Instead the threats from Iran worsened.”

Editorial Board, Trump’s Abysmal Failure of Diplomacy Has Ostracized the U.S. — Not Iran | The Washington Post
“The bottom line is that the Trump administration has destroyed the international alliance that forced Tehran to limit activities that could have allowed it to build nuclear weapons. The “maximum pressure” campaign President Trump launched has failed either to obtain more concessions from Tehran, as he predicted, or to bring about regime change — the goal Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tacitly embraced.”

Editorial Board, ‘Maximum Pressure’ on Iran Has Failed | The New York Times
“At this point, the hard-line approach defies common sense. If the United States refuses to honor the first agreement, why would Iranians ever trust it to honor a second? The uncomfortable truth is that ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions are unsustainable. They haven’t changed Iranian behavior for the better. Quite the opposite…Mr. Biden’s foreign policy team came into office promising to make the nuclear agreement ‘longer and stronger,’ a worthy goal. The first step toward it is getting back into the deal.”

Editorial Board, Trump’s Iran Decision Just Brought Us Closer to War | The Washington Post
“Mr. Trump has opened a rift with Britain, Germany and France, who were partners to the pact along with Russia and China, and he has handed Iran’s Islamic regime some unfortunate opportunities…The president has frequently said that he has no wish for further Mideast wars; his decision has made one more likely.”

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