This has escalated in the last six years and may finally happen. The Bush-Cheney administration has concluded that Iran is guilty until proven innocent and it is in their interests to maintain that the Persian Gulf belongs to Americans setting the stage for their long delayed military strike. The White House has stalled the release of a new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, which should reflect the CIA's conclusion that there is no evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program.
What has been the most interesting development in this march to war is that Washington officials are now blaming Iran for supplying the Iraqi insurgents with bombs that are killing Americans and have in effect authorized shoot-to-kill orders against Iranians. In reality, Iran is supporting the government of Iraq since they control a majority of the elected representatives through their Shiite allies.
All of this is par for the course and parallels the campaign to demonize Saddam for over a year before the US invasion of Iraq. Dismissals of US plans to attack as "urban legends" and conspiracy theories should be viewed in the same light that early preparations for the attack on Iraq were dismissed.
How to attack and the reaction to an attack on the over 100,000 Iranians in Iraq may be a problem. From CNN:
BLITZER: Well, what would happen if the U.S. does kill these Iranians and the president has signed off on it?
LANG: Well, if he has signed off on it and intelligence is developed that indicates that what he says it's true, then they will in fact eliminate the people. The problem is, is that the Iranians will then have to make a decision as to how they're going to retaliate for that.
BLITZER: Well, how could they retaliate?
LANG: They could retaliate against U.S. forces in Iraq in a big way.
BLITZER: How could they do that?
LANG: They have hundreds of thousands of people from the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guard corps already in Iraq.
BLITZER: Hundreds of thousands?
LANG: Oh, yes. That's a well-established figure that's though to be true across the community of people that look at this. And they're there as liaison personnel with the very Shia militias and things like that. And if they get sufficiently angry with us, they can start retaliating directly against our forces.