US-Iran match mirrored a regional rivalry for many Arab fans

A woman plays a soccer game on a screen in front of a photo of Team USA at a cultural center prior to watching Iran's national soccer team play against the United States in Qatar's soccer World Cup in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Lebanese soccer fans of Iran’s team sit with coffee by a portrait of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, left, as they watch the World Cup group B soccer match between Iran and the United States, in the Hezbollah stronghold in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

BAGHDAD — The U.S. team’s victory over Iran at the World Cup on Tuesday was closely watched across the Middle East, where the two nations have been engaged in a cold war for over four decades and where many blame one or both for the region’s woes.