The messages from Tehran are stark. On October 1, Iranian forces fired six missiles at Islamic State positions in eastern Syria. The weapons landed within three miles of U.S. troops in the country; one missile shown on Iranian state television carried the slogan: “Death to America, “Death to Israel, Death to al Saud.” A statement by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), said the missile strike was retaliation for a September 22 shooting attack on a military parade in Ahvaz, southwest Iran, that killed at least 25 people. The missile attack, however, was clearly intended to deliver a message beyond the militant holdouts of Islamic State. It was an unequivocal signal to the Trump administration and its allies in the Middle East that Tehran will not change its foreign policy in spite of Washington’s escalation of sanctions – the next round is due in November – after President Donald Trump withdrew from the multilateral 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May.

Tehran got a boost...

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