U.S.-Iran standoff perpetuates flaws of decades-old policies (Axios)

Current U.S. policy toward Iran has deepened the Middle East’s Sunni-Shia divide — embodied in the regional rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran — and risks repeating the failures of successive U.S. administrations.

Why it matters: American presidents have often tried to view the Middle East in overly black-and-white terms — from Reagan in Lebanon and Bush in Iraq to Obama’s dreams of Arab democracy. With this mindset still in play, the risks of economic harm and military escalation continue to mount.

Background: Many of today’s issues can be traced to 1979 — the year of the Iranian revolution, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the takeover of the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

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