Multiple U.S. administrations have attempted to coerce or persuade Iran to reconsider its revolutionary ethos, but have failed. The reason is simple: U.S.-Iran normalization could prove deeply destabilizing to a theocratic government whose organizing principle has been premised on fighting American imperialism.
The United States has sought to engage a regime that clearly doesn’t want to be engaged, and isolate a ruling regime that thrives in isolation. Yet over time, the Iranian regime has shown it’s too influential to ignore, too dogmatic to reform, too brutal to overthrow, and too large to fully contain.
In fact, the main outcome of the Trump administration’s unilateral 2018 withdrawal from the nuclear agreement is an Iran with a far more advanced nuclear program.
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