Iran is convinced that General Frank McKenzie was bluffing when recently threatening a US invasion of Iran should Iran attack America. Tehran knows that the American people are tired of Middle Eastern wars and have no appetite for an invasion of Iran. Furthermore, Iran is convinced that the Biden administration despite repeatedly denying so is intent on continuing the policy of the Trump administration to disengage from Islamdom and hand over great power duties there to Israel as “evidenced” by the US retreat from Afghanistan. Therefore is the Iranian assumption that there will also be no imposition of a no-fly zone over Iran and that there is no risk of a US invasion of Iran irrespective of what Tehran does. Iran believes that the US disengagement from Islamdom and subcontracting its great power duties there to Israel is part of an elaborate “Jewish conspiracy” to strengthen Israel in Islamdom at the expense of Iran.
The reality is that this plan apparently has been shelved and as a result has there been no further cases of normalization between Israel and Muslim countries since the end of the Trump administration. This is so as America’s allies in Islamdom welcomed this plan since they consider the US unreliable as the US has a new foreign policy for Islamdom with every new president and Israel is in contrast recognized as consistent and reliable in its foreign policy. Furthermore, the US nowadays has much less interests in Islamdom since the US is no longer dependent on Gulf oil as the US has become energy independent.
Iran is convinced that it is engaged in a war of nerves where the United States is trying to intimidate Tehran into concluding a nuclear agreement with the US against the best interests of Iran. Iran is convinced that these are empty threats and has even serious hopes of being able to deter Israel from destroying Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Tehran assumes that there is a fair chance that the outside world will allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons just as it allowed North Korea to develop nuclear weapons. However, Iran is aware that the Iranian nuclear weapons program could face destruction and is prepared to lash out with weapons of mass destruction against major cities in nations deemed pivotal to the ostensible worldwide “Jewish conspiracy” to destroy Islam, in order to deter a second attack a few years later against a rebuilt nuclear weapons program.
Tehran believes that there is no reason to fear any kind of military response by the United States and that Iran will be able to lash out with weapons of mass destruction with impunity due to fear of a second wave of Iranian WMD attacks. Iran believes that the US response will be some air strikes and subsequently a US disengagement from Islamdom. Iran generally does not fear Democratic presidents and in particular hold President Biden in low regard as they in Middle Eastern political terms consider him to be “weak”. The US failure to provide defense guarantees to Ukraine and admit Ukraine to NATO is strongly reinforcing this impression.
Of course this is a serious misreading of the United States as Iran severely underestimates American resolve and American resilience. Nevertheless, the misunderstanding is mutual as the US still believes that there is a chance for concluding a nuclear agreement with Tehran and does not understand – or does not want to understand – that this hopeless appeasement policy completely undermines and discredits the American deterrence posture vis-a-vis Iran.
However, Iran believes that should the US-led emerging international coalition impose a no-fly zone and provide air support to armed rebellions would those insurrections miserably fail just as all Israeli attempts to organize a revolution in Iran have come to naught. Iran furthermore believes that should the US invade Iran in response to Iran attacking America with weapons of mass destruction will the US face a second Afghanistan as the regime no doubt is well prepared to fight a guerrilla war against the United States and the US will be defeated because of the regime’s divine patronage. Iran even believes that it has a fair chance of repelling a US invasion.
America cannot conceivably hope to deter Iran until after the track of the doves finally collapses. Deterring Iran from lashing out globally with weapons of mass destruction is an urgent matter of vital national security as there is considerable risk that mutual cultural mistranslation will lead to a global calamity and an inevitable invasion of Iran should the uprising with air support fail in Persian areas of Iran unlike in the ethnic periphery where success of the insurrections with air support is guaranteed.