Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign against Iran got US in a ‘really bad place’: Chief nuclear negotiator

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Wendy Sherman, former US under secretary of state for political affairs and the chief negotiator in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal

A former US under secretary of state for political affairs, who was the chief negotiator in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, has criticized President Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran saying it has gotten the United States in a “really bad place” and  that Iran is “nowhere close to negotiating with the Trump administration.”

Wendy Sherman made the remarks on Wednesday speaking at the virtual Aspen Security Forum where the US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook also delivered remarks on "Maximum Pressure: America's Strategy to Counter Iran.”

Sherman argued that Trump’s decision to leave the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran in May 2018 has gotten the United States "to a really bad place".

“I appreciate that the Trump administration put the maximum pressure campaign and they indeed have, but what it has gotten them, and Brian [Hook] said this himself, is resistance," said Sherman who negotiated the 2015 nuclear agreement.

“Iran is now enriching at higher levels with more centrifuges. They are still supporting proxies in the region,” she added, without offering any evidence.

In a recent article titled “The Total Destruction of US Foreign Policy Under Trump,” Wendy Sherman enumerated the failures of the Trump administration in the face of Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.

“Trump’s approach to Iran is another painful and costly example. Over three years after the Trump administration withdrew from the nuclear deal, Iran has more highly enriched uranium …, more operating nuclear facilities, more sophisticated technology,” she wrote in her article published by The Foreign Policy magazine on Friday.

“US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Iran envoy Brian Hook advertise this as a campaign of 'maximum pressure,' but their ultimate objective—which they insist is not regime change—remains a mystery,” she added.

The US unleashed the so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran in 2018, when it unilaterally scrapped the 2015 nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Following its withdrawal, Washington targeted the Iranian nation with the “toughest ever” economic sanctions.

It is currently dialing up efforts to kill the JCPOA completely through pushing the remaining parties to the multilateral agreement to extend a UN arms embargo on Tehran. 

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