Ever since Iran's Islamic Revolution in 1979, it has been trying to evict U.S. forces from its neighborhood and become the premier power in the region.
The U.S.-led toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq in 2003 removed the most effective obstacle to Iranian expansion, and Tehran has not passed upon the opportunity since then.
It has successfully inserted its Shia militias into the fabric of Iraq's security establishment, and its allies have a powerful voice in parliament.
Iran is playing the long game. Its leaders hope that if it keeps up the pressure, both overt and covert, it will eventually make the Middle East a region not worth America's effort to stay engaged in, militarily.
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