“Maximum pressure” is resulting in more undesirable behavior from Iran, not less

June 17, 2019
Contact: press@defensepriorities.org

WASHINGTON, DC—On Monday, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan announced he authorized sending approximately 1,000 additional U.S. troops to the Middle East amid escalating tensions between the United States and Iran. Defense Priorities Policy Director Benjamin H. Friedman issued the following statement in response:

“People who claim U.S.-Iran escalation is evidence ‘maximum pressure’ is working are wrong. It is leading to more undesirable activity from Iran, not less. There is no white flag coming from Tehran.

“The administration’s current course is likely to lead to war long before negotiations, let alone successful ones. As U.S. pressure mounts, Iran is likely to retaliate, including by direct or proxy attacks or by restarting its nuclear weapons program.

“The failure of ‘maximum pressure’ should not be used to justify an unauthorized, preventive war. There is no ‘limited strike’ option for Iran, and another prolonged Middle East war would further harm U.S. security and prosperity.”