Iran never stood a chance with Donald Trump. Since he took office he has cast a cloud over a nuclear deal he hates, slowly eroding the economic benefits to Iran. The Ayatollahs, more accustomed to burning American flags, couldn’t respond with the flattery other leaders have used to warm their way into Trump’s White House. Nor could they lavish him with business deals and promises of job creation in the US. Capitulation, which North Korea is pledging though may never deliver, has never been in the Islamic Republic’s playbook. The Iranian regime is a master at negotiation, manipulation, and covert action, none of which have been of much use over the past year as it has struggled to navigate the new chaotic international order. In fact, what Iran considers valuable leverage — its expanded influence across the Middle East that forces others to take its interests into account — has become a vulnerability. Lobbying in Washington by Israel and a new, more aggressive, regime in Saudi Arabia...

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