To the best of memory, one of the first authors, whom I respect, to shed doubts on the possibilities of an American military attack on Iran was Tariq Ali. In an article, on Counterpunch (May 11, 2006), he argued succinctly that Iran had been nothing but helpful to the American colonial ventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. So, why would the U.S. attack Iran and turn a big helping asset in the region into a colossal hostility, which would in turn make Americans’ presence in the region far more hellish?
A lot of Iranian socialists, liberals, radical democrats and plenty of people in the clerical and merchant classes, as well as millions of ordinary citizens know that the ruling classes in the U.S., divided as they are over attacking Iran militarily, are united in preferring an Islamic Republic, rather than a secular republic, in Iran. The American rulers know, or at least calculate, that any other political formation in Iran will definitely be socially to the left of the current set up. The Mullahs also know that the Americans know this. So, both are clear on this.