American and Iranian tensions over Iran’s nuclear programs are part of a broad pattern of competition between the two countries. However, Iran’s nuclear program is only one of many interrelated areas in which Washington and Tehran struggle for influence. Energy, economics, trade, and sanctions all interact with the nuclear issue, and with one another, to form one axis of US-Iranian competition. This axis is intersected by a series of bilateral and multilateral issues, interests, and institutions—from energy security and nonproliferation, to arms sales and economic investment, to the IAEA and the UN. Strategic competition between the US and Iran incorporates all of these issues into a broader cycle of preemptive and reactive competition.