Key Points

To be successful, maximum pressure 2.0 should include diplomatic, military, cyber, economic and financial sanctions, and information and influence activities. There will undoubtedly be challenges associated with implementation. And no plan fully survives contact with the adversary. But this campaign offers the best hope of securing American, South Korean, and international interests on the Korean Peninsula without war.

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If current trends hold, however, the Iranian authorities could soon find themselves falling back on those measures.

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This expectation reflects the tendency of Western correspondents to present the hardships they witness as the result of sanctions, despite substantial evidence that corruption and mismanagement bear much greater responsibility. The American media’s coverage of pharmaceutical shortages in Iran illustrates this trend.

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The Trump administration should now build upon Jahromi’s designation by sanctioning other key human rights abusers. Potential targets include Mahmoud Alavi, the minister of intelligence; Hossein Ashtari, the head of Iran’s police, formally known as the Law Enforcement Force; and Gholamreza Soleimani, the commander of the Basij militia. Like Jahromi, each has played a major role in suppressing protests and other forms of dissent.

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Given Iran’s dangerous missile use and expanding capabilities, policymakers should seek to sanction Iran’s domestic missile supply chain and foreign nodes for procurement. At the same time, the United States should expedite and deepen cooperation with key partners such as Israel to expeditiously field more effective cruise missile defense systems to protect both forward deployed American troops and the U.S. homeland.

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EVENT: Instruments of American Power: Implementing Foreign Policies and Protecting Against Global Threats

October 10, 2019 | 12:00

EVENT: The Future of Democracy in Venezuela

July 24, 2019 | 10:30