Iran has been chrystal clear for some time now. The fact that what they have been clear about is counter intuitive for westerners or that we must rationalize it all away as a cover for some clever geopolitical ploy does us great damage.
It is indeed hard for westerners to believe that Iran genuinely wants to cause cataclysmic events to bring back a supernatural being just as it was hard for nearly everyone to believe that Hitler wanted to kill all the Jews or that Stalin was starving the Ukrainians to death. Perhaps it is humanities fate not to believe what we are told that we wish not to believe. Even so, the obligation to present the evidence remains. Iran is developing nuclear weapons. They intend to use them on Israel and the United States. They do not care how many Iranians die as a result as they, the Iranians will go to some kind of preferred afterlife and their enemies will not as they see it. Is this hard to believe? Indeed it is. But most of us have deeply religious friends who may have more benign beliefs but not less implausible. When Iran’s leaders speak, know they mean it. Respond accordingly.