John: several points. Yes, Iran is waging a proxy war against us. But it needs nukes to do three things. First, to deter us from taking effective action against them and stopping the proxy war. Second, to threaten Israel and Europe with nuclear-armed missiles. And third, to eventually use them — through their proxies — against us to finish their war.
The issue isn’t whether we or Israel strike the Iranian nuke facilities. Regime change is not likely to result from either, as there is a substantial portion of the Iranian population that supports the nuke program. The issue is entirely defensive for us or the Israelis. It matters not who rules Iran if they are no threat to us. They are now a threat through their proxies. And that threat will be magnified a hundredfold if they possess deployable nuclear weapons.
What we need to do is — as I’ve written several times — both overtly (as in air strikes to prevent them from achieving nuclear weapons) and covertly (to prevent delivery of Russian SAMs and to destabilize the regime). A thorough plan for action against Iran has to include both. And it had better be put in motion pronto.