The flags of Iran and the United States during the Iran nuclear talks, Vienna, Austria, July 2015
The flags of Iran and the United States during the Iran nuclear talks, Vienna, Austria, July 2015
Carlos Barria / Reuters

The United States has long made containing Iran a focus of its efforts in the Middle East, from troop deployments to diplomatic dealmaking. But so far, containment has largely failed. Since 2018, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has withdrawn from the 2015 nuclear deal and exerted maximum pressure on Iran, even moving an additional 20,000 troops into the Middle East. The Iranian threat has only grown. Iran has expanded its nuclear and missile programs and its investment in proxy forces, sophisticated drones, and cyber-capabilities. Critics of the Iran nuclear deal claim that the agreement failed to curb these threats and

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  • VALI NASR is Majid Khadduri Professor of International Affairs and Middle East Studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
  • More By Vali Nasr