File-U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 3, 2015. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
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Iran is the predominant Shi'ite Muslim power, hostile both to Israel and to Washington's Sunni Muslim-ruled Arab friends, particularly Saudi Arabia.Even U.S. military officials concede that unchaining Iran's economy from crippling sanctions will likely translate into more money for Iran's military and its surrogates abroad. The White House said Obama stressed a commitment to work with Gulf partners to counter Iran's "destabilizing activities" and help them bolster their defense capabilities.Obama hosted leaders of the Sunni Arab states in the United States in May, vowing to back them against any external attack.
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