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Trump’s ‘Maximum Pressure’ Won’t Make Iran Yield
Trump’s ‘Maximum Pressure’ Won’t Make Iran Yield
The Fallout from Ukraine: Iran Talks Stalled; U.S. Woos Caracas?
The Fallout from Ukraine: Iran Talks Stalled; U.S. Woos Caracas?

Trump’s ‘Maximum Pressure’ Won’t Make Iran Yield

Originally published in The Atlantic

The one thing Tehran would find more intolerable than the crushing impact of sanctions is raising the white flag because of them.

A magnificent fresco adorns the main pavilion of the royal palace in the Iranian city of Isfahan, depicting the 16th-century Battle of Chaldiran, fought between the Turkish-Ottoman and Persian-Safavid empires. The fresco appears to show the Persian army victorious, having crushed its Turkish adversary. The truth is that Chaldiran marked a decisive victory for the Ottomans, who went on to annex eastern Anatolia and northern Iraq. But what the self-serving historical distortion suggests is not shame of defeat but pride in the heroic valor with which the Iranians resisted a foe that outnumbered them and, unlike them, possessed heavy artillery. Donald Trump’s administration, which has made bringing Iranians to their knees the cornerstone of its Mideast policy half a millennium later, should draw a lesson from the battle and the way the Persians digested defeat.

Continue reading in The Atlantic

Podcast / Global

The Fallout from Ukraine: Iran Talks Stalled; U.S. Woos Caracas?

In this week’s Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood is joined by Crisis Group’s Iran expert Naysan Rafati and Venezuela expert Phil Gunson to discuss the Ukraine war’s global repercussions.

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard is joined by Crisis Group’s Iran and Andes senior analysts Naysan Rafati and Phil Gunson to talk about the Ukraine war’s fallout on Iran nuclear talks and Venezuela’s crisis. Naysan discusses Russia’s role in the talks over Iran’s nuclear program, what Moscow’s latest demands regarding carve-outs from Ukraine-related sanctions entail and whether they could scupper efforts to get back to the nuclear deal. Phil talks through a surprise visit to Caracas by a high-ranking U.S. delegation – its meeting with Venezuelan officials all the more surprising given that Washington formally recognises an opposition leader as Venezuela’s president. They discuss Venezuela-Russia relations, prospects for U.S.-Venezuela bridge-building and for reinvigorating talks between the Venezuelan government and its opponents.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

For more information, explore Crisis Group’s analysis on our Ukraine country page and make sure to read our recent commentary, ‘A Twist in Caracas: Is a Venezuela-U.S. Reboot on the Cards?’ and statement, ‘Avoiding an Even Worse Catastrophe in Ukraine’.


Executive Vice President
Senior Analyst, Iran
Senior Analyst, Andes