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International Relations

Iran and the US Avoid War for Now, but Political Sparring Will Continue

Image courtesy of The White House/Flickr.

This article was originally published by the ASPI‘s The Strategist on 9 January 2020.

President Donald Trump’s public response to Iranian missile strikes on two US airbases in Iraq suggests that he and Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have reached a mutual ‘no war’ agreement. Barring any miscalculation by either side that triggers military escalation, the confrontation will continue to be played out politically, with the US maintaining its ‘maximum pressure’ campaign that seeks to force regime change through severe economic sanctions. There will be a lot of bruising ahead for Iran, but Trump will not win politically.