Maximum Pressure: Trump Administration Policy Towards the Iranian Regime

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“Maximum Pressure” docuseries is an engrossing film about one of the most controversial ongoing US foreign policies towards the Iranian regime during Donald Trump’s presidency. The film is a chronicle of the US-Iran relations during Donald Trump’s presidency through the eyes of the opponents and supporters of the maximum pressure on the Islamic Republic. This documentary reflects the opinion of the architects of Trump’s Iran policy and the advisors to the Obama administration and advocacy groups who contributed to the cause for more engagement with the Iranian regime and nuclear deal; the agreement that Donald Trump withdrew from and called it the “worst, most horrible and laughable deal”.

Episode 1: The Iranian regime and six world powers (China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, and the US) reach a historic nuclear deal on July 14, 2015. A month before this agreement that aimed to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from nuclear sanctions, Donald Trump announces his candidacy in the 2016 US presidential election. The first episode of this docu-series follows Trump from his very first day of campaigning, when then-presidential candidate Trump delivers remarks noting that the so-called JCPOA or Iran nuclear deal is a “bad deal” and his “number one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran.” Soon after, the political gap between the majority of democrats as supporters of the deal and the majority of the republicans as the critics of the deal widens. At the same time, the Iranian regime becomes divided on the implementation of the nuclear deal. In 2016, JCPOA is implemented and Western businesses eye up Iran after the sanctions relief. But soon, with the attempts from the diverse assortment of critics, inside and outside Iran, the future of the deal is at peril.

Episode 2: Donald Trump gives Iran’s nuclear deal a final reprieve stating that the deal would either be “fixed” or the United States will withdraw from it. Episode two of the “maximum pressure” docuseries shows how the European Governments try to save the deal through vigorous negotiations with the White House while some of the regional powers like Israel and Saudi Arabia lobby against the deal. At last, the United States declares its withdrawal from the deal and reimposes the stringent sanctions it imposed on the Iranian regime. In this period, the Islamic Republic’s destabilizing activities in the region through its Shia militia proxies and the role of Qasem Soleimani, the man who orchestrates these proxies, becomes of serious concern for some governments in the region.

Episode 3: In episode three of the “Maximum Pressure” docuseries, President Trump reimposes sanctions after withdrawal from the JCPOA and announces new stringent sanctions on the Iranian regime. While the effectiveness of the “maximum pressure” campaign remains controversial, there seem to be no limits for pressurizing the Iranian government under this policy.

Episode 4: Episode four of the “Maximum Pressure” docuseries showcase how Donald Trump is applying maximum pressure to bring the Islamic Republic to the negotiation table. Countries like Japan and France act to mediate between Iran and the US but the Islamic Republic supreme leader does not approve of the meeting between the Iranian president and Donald Trump. Sanctions pressure on the economy of Iran and the Iranian people intensifies and there are reports on sanctions hampering Iranian efforts to import medicine and other medical supplies; a controversial topic amongst the supporters and critics of the maximum pressure policy.

Episode 5: Tension and mutual threats between the Iranian regime and the US government is the main theme of the fifth episode of the “maximum pressure” docuseries. The killing of top Iranian Gen. Soleimani in US strike, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards retaliatory moves, fuel fears of war between the two countries. Trading of threats continues when the Coronavirus pandemic deflects att