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The Editors

As the Iran Crisis Escalates, What Is Trump’s Goal?

Pressure on the regime is working. But the president needs to say what he hopes to achieve.

Please clarify.

Please clarify.

Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg

Iran’s attack on a U.S. spy drone on Thursday was a reckless escalation of an already simmering crisis. It was also evidence that the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against the regime is working. The question is what the U.S. does next.

Thanks to American sanctions, Iran’s economy is hurting: A recession is deepening, inflation is likely to hit 50%, and the rial may never recover from last year’s plunge. Tehran is losing hope that other countries will defy the sanctions and reward it for adhering to the 2015 nuclear deal.