Iran also fired shells at the perimeter of the US embassy in Baghdad. Frankly, through its ambassador in Baghdad, Iran threatened to target the US military presence in Iraq, as well as arrested citizens holding US, British and Australian passports and other Westerners in Iran and was not ashamed to bargain.
The regime's aggressive actions were met only by US economic sanctions, which are certainly painful for the regime in Tehran, and cost billions of dollars each month.
Have the confrontations stopped? This does not seem, according to observers and analysts of the scene, preparations on both sides are visible, including the establishment of an international naval military alliance to protect shipping lines from Iranian attacks in the waters of the Gulf.
The Americans have succeeded in obtaining a number of approvals from regional and Western governments to participate in the naval fleet. The US called this project "security" and Tehran responded by calling for a counter-alliance called "hope", and we do not know the details yet.
It was not surprising that Iran would escalate militarily, taking advantage of the American politicians entering the arena of elections that will severely restrict the US president in his major decisions, especially the military response to Iran.
US economic sanctions have been gradually applied for about a year and a half, but Iran appears to have been deliberately delayed in waiting for the election season, and according to this type of planning may increase military escalation and hostilities.
The question is why the supreme leader's regime has become bolder? There is no doubt that the sanctions are harmful to him internally and to his military project externally. He needs money to finance all his foreign militias, with the exception of allied Iraqi militias, the expenses of their fighters and their activity paid from the Iraqi treasury. The other reason for boldness, in my view, is that it reflects significant gradual changes in the ladder of command and control centers of government.
It is clear that the generals are gaining more voices and seats in the senior leadership in Tehran, and the role of so-called moderates has receded.
This forced Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to resign through social media platforms in February in protest against the intervention of General Qasem Soleimani and then returned to work.
This is part of the struggle under the mantle of the Supreme Leader, who, as he ages, is increasingly competing for power and influence.