The United States should strive for an Iran that is stable with a strong middle class and highly educated youths connected to the moderating influence of the outside world. The Iranian people want to restore the friendship between Iran and the United States, two countries that enjoyed 123 years of cordial ties before 1979. But the path to their hearts and minds is not through sanctions and military intervention.
Larison then writes:
The Trump administration should follow these recommendations, but I fear it is so far down the path of belligerence and confrontation that the president and his officials wouldn't know how to stop at this point. Most U.S. administrations are loath to give up on failed policies even when it is obvious to everyone else that they cannot succeed, and the Trump administration is more resistant to admitting failure than most. If the president opts for de-escalation and climbing down from the unrealistic and excessive demands that his administration has made, we should encourage him in making that change and support that effort at de-escalation. If he continues to follow the toxic advice of Iran hawks to intensify the pressure campaign, he should be opposed every step of the way.