|What is the Iranian End Game? Iran must know by now, given Israel’s recent strike on Syria and with even France changing its position -- that an attack on their country (and hence the leadership itself) is very likely. The only unknown is if the attack will be limited to just nuclear installations, or expand to comprehensively destroy military/air/navy, and even the leadership itself.
The way I see it, Iranian thinking must…
-Want to be attacked for what it sees as a geopolitically and domestically beneficial reason. i.e. an attack by western powers = scapegoat for current leadership with regards to the poor financial state of the country & the leaderships power is solidified for decades to come. It then has all the cache it needs to attack other Arab nations & Israel; or....
-Believe with near certainty western powers will not risk an attack, or can at the very least defend itself sufficiently, thus the leadership wins/wins. i.e. all their bluster proves correct ; they “scared away the USA” & Islamic radicals everywhere are emboldened. Country gets nuclear weapons and sets itself up as the regions dominant player. Current leadership’s power is solidified for many decades to come.
In both scenarios, the leadership wins UNLESS the leadership itself is targeted and attacked and partially dismantled, because that would mean it’s severely weakened and is at its most vulnerable to be overthrown from within.
*NOTE: All of the above assumes any strike on Iran will involve only sea/air with maybe some commando units for recon/targeting etc. But NO troops.