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Pompeo’s Mission Impossible on Iran

Mike Pompeo at lectern with American flag
Secretary of State Pompeo during his May 21, 2018, speech on the U.S.'s new Iran strategy. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Since President Donald Trump rejected State Department appeals for more time to reach a supplemental understanding with the Europeans on Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has tried to make a virtue out of failure.

Yes, but: The policy he outlined in a speech this morning has almost no chance of working. It's likely to further alienate the U.S.'s European allies, boost China as a global economic and political power and gladden Iranian hardliners looking for more reason to restart proscribed nuclear activities and to continue their interventions in the Middle East.