Iranian President Ahmadinejad belongs to a school of thought which believes that the return of the Shiite messiah - the Mahdi - is supposed to happen very soon. Ahmadinejad believes he has a divine role in making this arrival concrete in our lifetime, maybe even within a few years.
Iran's aspiration is to build a Shiite- or Iran-dominated belt from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean. Iran is meddling in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon. In addition, Iran has its eye on the oil wealth of the Persian Gulf, and the Gulf states are scared.
Tehran pays 100 percent of the Islamic Jihad budget and gives a bonus for every Israeli murdered. In addition, through Hizbullah Iran pays the Al Aqsa Brigade, which belongs to Fatah in name only.
Iran imports 40 percent of its consumption of refined oil products. An embargo on gasoline could create a very serious problem for the regime. In addition, Iran is dependent on the flow of
money and credit from Europe, which could be severed.
While Israel may be the first victim on Iran's list, it won't be the last. The ideology of the Iranian regime despises the entire culture which Europe and Israel share.
The Iranian people would prefer a different regime, but they do not see a glimmer of support from outside. The international community is evasive and aversive to confrontation with the regime. The people see that the Western democracies prefer to court the regime rather than confront it.