The stated policy of the current US administration towards the Islamic Republic has been changing the “regime behavior” in the Middle East Region, from Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq to Yemen and Afghanistan. The strategy to support this policy is to cut off the flow of oil revenues to the IR Regime by preventing the other countries from purchasing Iranian oil, and also to block the Regime’s access to the global banking system.
So far it is not clear how successful the strategy has been. But there’s another “behavior change” taking place in Washington that’s in direct contrast to the “behavior change” policy in Iran.
Donald Trump just announced his intention to withdraw the 2,000 US forces from Syria, despite the opposition from his Defense Secretary General Mattis and the White House inner circle, which will create a vacuum in Syria that will be filled by the regional forces and militias supported by the Islamic Republic.
Trump is also looking into reducing the US military footprint in Afghanistan by half by bringing 7,000 forces home, and is contemplating a total withdrawal by next spring. This “behavior change” by Trump will most likely weaken the central government in Kabul and paves the way for Taliban and the Ghods Force to increase their influence there.
Trump’s mismanagement of the Khashoggi case by his unconditional support of Mohammad Bin Salman forced the US Senate to pass a law stopping the US military support for the Saudi incursion in Yemen, and once again providing an opportunity for the IR Regime to create more mischief there.
So, while Trump’s stated policy has been to change the IR Regime’s behavior, through its misguided actions in the Region and alienating the allies and NATO, it is moving the US in the opposite direction and negating its strategy.