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Is Washington Too Focused on Iran’s Nuclear Program?

Why It's Time for the U.S. to Prioritize Rolling Back Tehran's Regional Gains

A man carries a giant flag made of flags of Iran, Palestine, Syria and Hezbollah, during a ceremony marking the 37th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, in Tehran, February 2016. Raheb Homavandi / REUTERS

In announcing the United States’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement, U.S. President Donald Trump made clear his disapproval of the accord and outlined a laundry list of complaints about Iranian policies. But he left perhaps the most critical question unaddressed: What, precisely, is U.S. policy toward Iran? 

For nearly a decade, the nuclear question has crowded out serious deliberations over a broader policy toward Iran. Yet Iran’s nuclear program is inseparable from its overall national security strategy, which focuses on the projection of nonconventional power far from Iran’s borders. Similarly, U.S. concerns about Iran’s nuclear endeavors are rooted not just in a principled stand against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction but in deep unease about the Iranian regime’s broader actions and intentions. And it is easy now to forget that prior to the conclusion of the nuclear deal—also known

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