An associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago believes that Trump is not abandoning the "maximum pressure" campaign because doing so could be seen as appeasing Iran at the expense of Saudi Arabia.
Speaking to ILNA news agency in an exclusive interview, Paul Poast said "Not enough time has passed since the attacks on Saudi oil fields, where the US claimed that Iran was responsible.
He referred to US sanction and added that even democracies are not fully responsive to the cutting off of economic exchange even when it leads to economic harm e.g. look at Midwest farmers who are being hurt by Trump's trade war with China.
"Trump is under a lot of political stress at home and he is looking for "wins" abroad. That is why he's now praising NATO (so he can take credit for the increase in expenditures) and reached a "phase 1" agreement with China (to modestly claim that his trade war is working)."
The US professor said "My view about the prisoner exchange is that Wang and Soleimani, like a fair number of people held by both the US and Iran should never have been in prison in the first place."
"These people are caught up in the tensions between the US and Iran. Any conflict can have real consequences for real people. In short, it shows that the relations are still poor and that both governments are willing to use citizens of the other as "pawns" in their larger strategic game.