FOREIGN POLICY/IRAN/OBAMA/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Pressed this week to define President Trump’s goals in escalating military and economic pressure on Iran, one of his top foreign policy aides ticked through a familiar list: End the country’s support for terrorism, stop its missile launches and then, most important, keep Iran more than a year away from the capability to build a nuclear weapon. The United States would insist on ‘zero enrichment for Iran,’ Brian H. Hook, the State Department’s special envoy for Iran, told a small group of reporters. That would assure Tehran could produce no new nuclear material, and thus never get closer to building a weapon than it is now. It was a telling moment in a strange, circular week of mutual threats and missed signals between bitter adversaries. Designing an agreement that would assure it would take Iran a year or more to ‘break out’ and make the fuel to build a bomb — giving the United States, Israel and others plenty of time to respond — was the driving force behind the 2015 nuclear deal that was negotiated under former President Barack Obama.”

David E. Sanger, “To Contain Iran, Trump’s Newest Line in the Sand Looks a Lot Like Obama’s,” The New York Times online, May 17, 2019