After US President Donald Trump publicly threatened Iran, Tehran has show no sign that it is going to shy away from the threats.
As the Trump administration increases its incendiary rhetoric against Iran, and deploys troops and military resources to the Persian Gulf, Tehran has given no indication that it will back down in the face of Washington’s threats.
"If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran," Trump threatened on May 19 on Twitter. "Never threaten the United States again!" the president wrote.
Under the influence of John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, the US has taken a hardline hawkish stance against Iran.
However, Iran has proved a solid match for the Trump administration when it comes to tough talking.
Inside Iran, the country’s religious leadership, which has long bashed the US as the Great Satan and Israel as the Little Satan, has increased its anti-American rhetoric.
"You young people should be assured that you will witness the demise of the enemies of humanity, meaning the degenerate American civilization, and the demise of Israel," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader, said on Wednesday.
Experts warn that Iran, with a population of more than 80 million people and a powerful army with proxies dotted across the Middle East is not Iraq.
When the US invaded Iraq, they were attacking a country with a fraction of Iran’s population and bitterly divided along sectarian lines.
And even then Iraq was no cake walk for the Americans. The US lost more than 4,000 soldiers after the 2003 invasion, as Sunni and Shia groups battled the occupation force.
The Americans in Iraq were fighting a depleted poorly motivated force but Iran would be a different kettle of fish.
The Iranians have extensive experience of fighting. After the 1979 Revolution, Iran fought a bloody war with its neighbour Iraq, which lasted nearly a decade.
Since then, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard have thrown themselves into the midst of proxy wars in Syria and Lebanon, training effective paramilitaries, wherever they set up base.
Iran can also mobilise nearly three million soldiers in the event of war, according to American military experts.
Experts believe that in any confrontation with Iran and its proxies, the US will have to fight not in a conventional manner but through asymmetric warfare.
Iran’s leadership has reminded the Americans that no power in history including the Greeks and Mongols have managed to subdue the country.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Mohammad Zarif told the American leadership that they had “hopes to achieve what Alexander, Genghis and other aggressors failed to do.”
“Iranians have stood tall for millennia while aggressors all gone. Economic Terrorism and genocidal taunts won't ‘end Iran.’ Try respect—it works!” Zarif tweeted on May 20.
Did has Trump gotten the message?
After initial tough talking, Trump has also appeared to calm down. He told his Pentagon chief that he does not want war with Iran.