May 1, 2023

WASHINGTON, DC – The J Street Policy Center today released a report with analysis and recommendations stemming from the group’s March 2023 symposium on US policy toward Iran. The report comes in the week leading up to the fifth anniversary of former President Donald Trump’s unilateral abandonment of the Iran Deal on May 8, 2018.

Titled “After ‘Maximum Pressure’: Formulating an Effective US Strategy on Iran, the report sets out how the United States can best advance American interests – and the interests of US allies – in addressing Iran’s advancing nuclear program, support for terrorism against Israel and other destabilizing activities, provision of drones to Russia and brutal crackdown on its own citizens. Drawing on insights from the symposium’s participants, the group’s new report includes a number of recommendations for the Biden Administration, including:

  • Taking a sequenced approach to securing prisoner releases, mutual de-escalatory steps, and working toward a narrow agreement to restore key limits on Iran’s nuclear activities;
  • Leveraging the Iran Deal’s “snapback” mechanism to prevent further transfers of Iranian drones to Russia;
  • Supporting the human rights of the Iranian people by calibrating sanctions to increase the power of ordinary citizens vis-a-vis the Iranian regime;
  • Maintaining military deterrence without escalation or ill-advised new security commitments to Gulf autocracies; and
  • Promoting broad, regionally-led diplomacy that empowers those in the region, as opposed to outside powers like Russia and China.

“After five years of deepening crises, it’s time to move past the unmitigated failure of ‘maximum pressure,’” said J Street’s Senior Vice President for Policy and Strategy Dylan Williams. “The record has shown that the security interests of the American people and our partners in the Middle East are better served by pragmatic diplomacy than reckless belligerence. This report sets out how President Biden can retake America’s lead in countering threats from Iran’s regime and in reducing instability and conflict in the region.”

Symposium Report | After “Maximum Pressure”: Formulating an Effective US Strategy on Iran

Read the J Street Policy Center's report with analysis and recommendations stemming from the group’s March 2023 symposium on US policy toward Iran