Mr. Arkin, With regard to your question about: What Is Iran Really Up To, from an American perspective?
The fact is that there can be no doubt about America's intentions..., or the real cause for the administration's global policy of pre-emption!
Is there any wonder why the president's approval ratings, domestically and abroad, are at their lowest, even among America's allies? Is there any doubt about why the level of fear by other nations around the world, with regard to the USA, is at its highest?
The fact of the matter is that at the same time that some political pundits in the U.S.A. are trying to figure out what Iran is really up to, the world, and those honest Americans who still remain, can see what the United States, under its current form of leadership, is up to!
Those human-beings who possess any moral fiber or genuine concern for the right of self-determination - as well as for the lives of other human beings, are shocked and dismayed by this man's insousciance, as well as his 'inhumanity to men, women and children around the world'.
Given what we have witnessed since 2003, when #43 attacked, without provocation, the once sovereign nation of Iraq, we have observed the heart of the man, our jingoist president.
And it is all too clear now what his real motives were for seeking the office of president of the United States of America in the first place!
peace & grace
Addenda: I am reminded of the words of the prophet Jeremiah, Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it [Jeremiah 5.1].
Will America ever come to its senses and repent of its actions, and misdeeds in Iraq and around the world?