Letters to the Editor: Trump should ease ‘maximum pressure’ on Iran if he wants a deal

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a news conference in Tehran.
(AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Columnist Doyle McManus is right to applaud President Trump’s renewed support for diplomacy with Iran. But expressing a desire for a dialogue and actually going through with it are two different things.

If Trump hopes to cut a deal with Iran on its nuclear program, he will have to stop listening to the advisors who insisted that a strategy of maximum pressure was the road to success. An all-sanctions, no-diplomacy approach has resulted in a considerably worse situation than when the strategy was first initiated.

Both sides would benefit from some give and take. Concessions are an unavoidable reality when bridging the gap between two nations with divergent interests and 40 years of adversarial history.


The most obvious deal to make is to let Iran sell oil to our European allies in exchange for Tehran returning to the nuclear deal and refraining from further sabotaging ships in the Persian Gulf. This arrangement ratchets down the pressure and could lead to the more comprehensive negotiations Trump claimed he wants.

Priority No. 1 for the U.S. is to avoid another costly, unnecessary war in the Middle East — the U.S. has higher priorities here at home and arguably in Asia.

Daniel R. DePetris, New York

The writer is a fellow at Defense Priorities, a think tank in Washington.