US President Donald Trump is missing an opportunity to change Iran’s behavior by pressuring Hezbollah financially as a weak link, former National Security Council chief Brig.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland said on Thursday.Speaking from the INSS Annual International Conference in Tel Aviv, Eiland said the new Lebanese government is racing around the world to foreign governments and banks to obtain enough aid to avoid a broad financial default. “This is exactly the time that the answer from all American and EU institutions should be to tell the Lebanese government: we will give you loans based on certain economic conditions, and… you must be committed to at least two modest moves,” said Eiland.The former national security council chief said that his two conditions would be: “1) sign and commit that there will be no production of precision missiles on Lebanese land, and; 2) whatever arms Hezbollah already has, is yours, but a commitment not to import more weapons from Syria and Iran.“If the Lebanese people understand that this is the only way their economy will recover… that Hezbollah agree to these conditions, then Iran will need to comply,” he stated.“Hezbollah is a political movement and it depends on internal legitimacy among the people of Lebanon. This is the right way to push Iran – not directly against Iran, but to do it in another area.”Earlier at the conference, INSS Iran expert Raz Zimmt pressed US State Department sanctions official David Peyman about whether the Trump “maximum pressure” campaign has succeeded or failed.Zimmt pointed out that some are saying that as of January, Iran is now closer to a nuclear bomb and more aggressive in the Middle East than it was before the pressure campaign started.Peyman responded: “We only reimposed sanctions fully 14 months ago and additional waivers only expired about eight months ago. That is a short amount of time. In that short amount of time, it has been tremendously successful.”“Iran is now telling Iraqi Shi’ite militias ‘we won’t fund you anymore. Iran has cut its defense budget by 29%. The IRGC has been cut by 17%. Hezbollah is looking for donations. 17 out of 18 Iranian pension funds are failing,” stated Peyman.Further, Peyman asserted that the EU was now threatening Iran with potential snapback sanctions and that the Islamic Republic’s killing of 1,500 of its own people showed that the ruling regime is more isolated and shaken than ever before.“Iran has a choice: it can continue its malign activities or continue on life support,” said Peyman, implying that Tehran may be able to continue in its current condition, but that it is taking a heavy toll on the regime.In contrast, French Ambassador to Israel Eric Danon said, “Iran knows how to suffer. They will outlast the Trump sanctions… They are incredibly resilient,” adding also that it would be hard to force Iran to change its policies as long as China and Russia still backed it.When Zimmt raised the possibility of France’s compromise of a partial Iranian return to nuclear compliance in return for a partial sanctions’ waiver by the US, followed by talks, Peyman rejected it out of hand.In terms of deterrence, former senior Mossad analyst and current INSS expert Sima Shine said she believed that Trump had restored a favorable balance not only by killing IRGC Quds Force chief Qasem Soleimani, but also by his threat to strike 52 Iranian targets.After the US killed Soleimani in early January, Iran and the US each issued threats, and Trump threatened a major escalation of striking 52 Iranian targets if Tehran’s retaliation led to additional dead US troops.Ultimately, Iranian affiliated forces fired missiles on US bases in Iraq, injuring dozens of troops, but killing none. Trump declared the crisis over, and while many estimate that the Islamic Republic may clandestinely carry out additional proxy revenge attacks, there has been no additional public retaliation.Going forward, Eiland said he expects Iran will try to wait out Trump, hoping that a more friendly Democrat will beat him in the November presidential election.In the event Trump wins, Eiland said Iran might seek a compromise if it could at least declare in public that it only made minor concessions as a gesture of goodwill.Summing up the Trump administration’s Iran strategy, Iran expert Holly Dagres said it was “like a Jackson Pollock painting” in being chaotic and inconsistent. She predicted he would eventually need to agree to a deal not much different from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal he pulled out of.Former Bush administration official Michael Doran credited Trump with realizing that, “the US is a hell of a lot more powerful than Iran,” and that if Tehran uses proxies to hit US forces in Iraq, he can draw blood in a way that is more painful to the Islamic Republic in order to bring it to heel.