Foreign Policy Digital

Iran’s Proxies Are More Powerful Than Ever

The Trump administration’s maximum pressure strategy is working—just not in the way that matters most.

Since U.S. President Donald Trump took office, his administration has pursued a so-called maximum pressure strategy designed to alter the course of Iran’s foreign and security policies. The strategy relies heavily on sanctions to change Iranian behavior by complicating its access to external markets and the international financial infrastructure. The overarching objective is to deny Tehran the financial resources required to maintain nuclear and missile programs and a network of proxies including Lebanese Hezbollah, various Shiite militias in Iraq, the Houthis in Yemen, and a growing network of foreign fighters in Syria recruited by Iran from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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