Maximum pressure or maximum failure — America’s shrinking options on Iran

Watch Event

Thursday, June 4 at 1:00 PM ET: the Quincy Institute hosted a Zoom webinar on U.S.-Iran tensions and America’s shrinking options on Iran. In May 2018, Trump left the Iran nuclear deal and adopted a policy called Maximum Pressure — sanctions on steroids — ostensibly to force Iran to renegotiate a new deal with Trump. It was also promised to roll back Iran’s influence in the region, secure the release of all American prisoners in Iran, and the complete elimination of Iran’s enrichment activities. Two years later, Iran has increased its nuclear enrichment, the U.S. and Iran have been minutes away from war on at least two occasions and Iran’s influence in the region is — according to the Trump administration itself — more problematic than before. Watch this QI-hosted discussion of America’s options on Iran going forward. Speakers included the former Obama administration official Jarrett Blanc, independent journalist Negar Mortazavi, and MIT professor and key architect of the restraint movement, Barry Posen. The conversation was moderated by QI’s Trita Parsi.


Jarrett Blanc

Jarrett Blanc is a senior fellow in the Geoeconomics and Strategy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He was previously the deputy lead coordinator and State Department coordinator for Iran nuclear implementation at the U.S. Department of State under President Obama, responsible for the full and effective implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program, including Iranian and U.S. commitments on sanctions.

Negar Mortazavi

Negar Mortazavi is an Iranian-American journalist and media analyst for The Independent, BBC, and Aljazeera, based in Washington. She has been covering Iran, the greater Middle East, and US foreign policy towards the region for over a decade. She was named a Global Young Leader by Friends of Europe in 2017. The Guardian has named her one of the top 10 people to follow on twitter for Iran news. Follow her @NegarMortazavi.

Barry Posen

Barry R. Posen is an award winning author and Professor of Political Science at MIT. He has written three books, Restraint-A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy, Inadvertent Escalation: Conventional War and Nuclear Risks and The Sources of Military Doctrine. He has been a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow; Rockefeller Foundation International Affairs Fellow; Guest Scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; Woodrow Wilson Center Fellow; Smithsonian Institution; Transatlantic Fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and most recently Visiting Fellow at the John Sloan Dickey Center at Dartmouth College.

Trita Parsi

Trita Parsi is an award-winning author and the 2010 recipient of the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. He is an expert on US-Iranian relations, Iranian foreign politics, and the geopolitics of the Middle East. He has authored three books on US foreign policy in the Middle East, with a particular focus on Iran and Israel. He is the co-founder and former President of the National Iranian American Council. He received his PhD in foreign policy at Johns Hopkins’ School for Advanced International Studies, a Master's Degree in International Relations from Uppsala University, and a Master's Degree in Economics from the Stockholm School of Economics.