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Three Ways Trump’s Nuclear Strategy Misunderstands the Mood in Iran

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U.S. President Donald Trump has refused to tell Congress that the 2015 nuclear deal the Obama administration reached with Iran and five other world powers still serves U.S. national interests. This refusal, or decertification, went against top officials in his own government and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Nobody should be surprised. Trump has attacked the Iran deal for years without offering a realistic alternative. His Oct. 13 speech on Iran was long on recriminations, but short on factual analysis and practical recommendations. This disconnect has kept experts and pundits guessing about what Trump’s decertification is meant to achieve.

There are three common interpretations. Each makes different assumptions about how Iran will react. All rest more on wishful thinking than a solid understanding of politics in Iran.

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