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"To win on Iran, Trump should take a page from Reagan's diplomatic playbook"

Jul 19 2019

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In the News

By Abbas Milani

"A perilous impasse exists between the Trump administration’s strident policy of “maximum pressure” and Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s no less strident policy of “no negotiation” with the United States. One way out of this fraught situation is a policy that appears to be a lose-lose for both sides but, in reality, is a win-win for all sides.

The Trump administration must take a page from the diplomatic playbook of the Reagan-Shultz team in the waning days of the Cold War. There is much that connects Iran’s current regime with the then-moribund Soviet empire. Like the Soviets, Iran is an economically weak, ideologically sclerotic regime run by septuagenarian men, punching above its weight internationally and given to bullying its own people and the international community, averse to accepting even the most obvious defeat unless it can sell it as an ideological victory at home and to its proxies."