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Iran shifts to higher-risk strategy as Trump bears down on pressure campaign

After exercising "strategic patience" for a year, Iran has shifted its strategy to one of calibrated escalation on the nuclear, regional and diplomatic fronts to try to secure economic relief, deter US adventurism and better position itself for possible future talks.

WASHINGTON — If the United States expected that a year or so of crippling economic sanctions on Iran following Donald Trump’s exit from the nuclear deal might bring the Iranians to the table ready to yield to the long list of US grievances with the Islamic Republic, Iran has flipped the script, newly shifting its strategy from one of relative restraint to one where the United States and other powers increasingly seem to be responding to Iranian actions.

After a year in which Iran responded with “strategic patience” to the US withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and its maximum pressure campaign, Iran has in the past month changed course, ramping up actions on the nuclear, regional and diplomatic fronts, to try to secure greater economic relief, deter the United States and — left unsaid — better position itself for possible future talks.

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