Key Points

Andrea Stricker is a research fellow at FDD where she conducts research on nonproliferation, Iran, North Korea, and other security policy topics.

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Thus far, the Trump administration has exhibited notable restraint in responding to Tehran’s aggression. General Milley warned on Friday that Tehran would be unwise to confuse American restraint with American weakness. Unfortunately, President Trump’s Syria decision may send the message that the U.S. would rather withdraw than confront aggression.

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Behnam Ben Taleblu is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (@FDD), where he focuses on Iranian political and security issues. He frequently briefs Washington audiences on a host of Iran-related issues and has testified before the U.S. Congress and Canadian Parliament.

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In 2013, Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Quds Force, the foreign-operations arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, famously said, “We’re not like the Americans. We don’t abandon our friends.” Trump, like Obama, seems committed to proving the Islamic Republic’s most dangerous commander right.

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Tony Badran is a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He tweets @AcrossTheBay.

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