U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Vienna, Austria, July 2015
Carlos Barria / Reuters

Former President Donald Trump’s Iran policy was an abject failure, applying maximum pressure to minimal benefit. The United States withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and ratcheted up sanctions on Tehran. But far from containing Iran, these actions aggravated the country’s leaders and emboldened them to expand their nuclear enrichment activities. The result was greater regional volatility and a heightened risk of direct conflict between Washington and Tehran.

President Joe Biden knows he must reverse this dangerous downward spiral. In the hope of returning to the agreement that his former boss, President Barack Obama, brokered in 2015, Biden has

Finish reading this article for free.

Enter your email and we'll send a paywall-free link directly to your inbox.

In addition to your unlocked article, you will receive our flagship weekly newsletter Foreign Affairs This Week, as well as occasional updates and offers from Foreign Affairs. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, visit our user agreement and privacy policy.


Get unlimited access to all Foreign Affairs. Subscribe now.

Are you already a subscriber? Sign in.