A man reacts to the scene after a Saudi-led air strike in Yemen's capital Sanaa, February 2016.
REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

The Trump administration’s top goal in the Middle East is clear: counter Iran, which U.S. President Donald Trump and his senior officials have denounced as a duplicitous and murderous state sponsor of terrorism and sower of regional chaos. In May, the Trump administration invoked Tehran’s regional ambitions to justify U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Just this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that Iran’s regime was bent upon “the export of Islamic revolution and the destruction of its neighbors.”

Yet such warnings of the Iranian threat miss a key factor: the United

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