US President Donald Trump famously took a hardline approach against Iran – withdrawing the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – or the “Nuclear Deal” – and opting instead for a policy of “maximum pressure” against Iran diplomatically and economically.
But there is a major misconception that the previous administration of former US President Barack Obama and then Vice President Joe Biden – had somehow sought to resolve US-Iranian tensions and offer Iran an opportunity to escape out from under decades of economic sanctions imposed by one US administration after another.
In fact – the US strategy regarding Iran required by necessity a feigned rapprochement – via the “Nuclear Deal” – followed by a sharp and hostile pivot aimed to make Iran appear unreasonable in the face of attempted peace offered by Washington.
This two-part strategy was planned during the administration of US President George Bush and executed by the Obama and Trump administrations respectively.
Far from mere speculation – this strategy was laid out in an extensive 2009 policy paper published by the Brookings Institution – a prominent US-based think tank funded by the largest, most powerful corporate-financier interests in the West.
The paper titled, “Which Path to Persia?: Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran”, stated explicitly (emphasis added):
..any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer—one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal.
For the policy to be executed within the current political environment in the United States – it required one administration operating under liberal left cover – and another under a more hardline right-leaning cover.