USS Newest Nuclear Aircraft Carrier USS Gerald Ford © Photo from www.navy.mil
The liquidation of Suleymani put Tehran in a very bad position. We must answer, but where and how?
You can inflict a terrorist attack on the American embassy or military base in Iraq. You can bombard American bases in the same place or somewhere else in the Persian Gulf. But what will be the US response? Almost certainly, immediately or after some preparation (two weeks to a month), an air missile attack on Iranian military installations on Iranian territory will follow, and maybe even on the headquarters of the Guards of the Islamic Revolution.
You can arrange some nasty things to Saudi Arabia or to someone else from the American allies. But, firstly, it was not the Saudis who killed Suleimani, and secondly, there is a high probability that the American reaction will be the same as that just named.
You can try to block the Persian Gulf. But this will not be a blow to the United States (they have enough of their own oil), but to Europe, China, and India. And again, Washington could painfully punish Tehran, unblock communications and show everyone who is the boss in the area.
Be that as it may, the Americans will act in much the same way as they did against Serbia in 1999 and Iraq in 2003. Iran has no strength for such a war with the United States.
In other words, Tehran has two options and both are bad: a) limit oneself to indignant screams and curses and c) risk taking a deliberately losing military clash with the United States. Europeans, although not all, of course, will grumble, appeal to international law and demand a political settlement of the conflict. But the East is not Europe. East of Suez there aren`t no Ten Commandments. Who has more aircraft carriers is right.