During a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing on Iran, experts testified that the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 served to embolden Iran.
Ray Takeyh, a Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, told Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R., Ill.), "I would say the general departure of the United States from the region and general hesitancy has emboldened Iran."
Scott Modell, Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, seconded Takeyh's statement, adding that he believed Iran viewed U.S. withdrawals from both Iraq and Afghanistan as "a strategic victory, to be honest with you."
"I think in general the U.S. certainly has a problem in the Middle East of a perception of its weakness. Rightly, or wrongly it is perceived that way," said Natan B. Sachs of the Brookings Institution.