Houthis guard a street leading to the presidential palace in Sanaa.
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With Iran moving closer to a deal with world powers to constrain its nuclear program in return for an end to sanctions, Arab analysts and leaders are focused more on how Tehran is working unconstrained to tighten its grip on Arab states, from Iraq to Lebanon, and Syria to Yemen.The heterodox Shiite Houthi movement in Yemen has seized power in the capital, Sanaa, to Iranian acclaim and the alarm of Sunni Arab states such as neighboring Saudi Arabia, Iran's regional rival.Iran may be serious about a nuclear deal that ends its pariah status and the crippling sanctions. But it has been maximizing its strength across the Middle East and, because Iranian forces and allied militias are spearheading the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Sunni Arab leaders believe the United States will do nothing to stop this. In Syria, when Assad seemed likely to succumb to the mainly Sunni rebellion two years ago, Iran deployed its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.Soleimani and the Al-Quds brigade, created in 1980 to export Iran's Islamic Revolution, patched together a network of loyalist militias that is now the backbone of Syrian rule.
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