Iran is ramping up its fight against the United States. “Despite the crippling toll of the pandemic,” Middle East Fellow Ariane Tabatabai and Colin P. Clarke write in Vox, “Tehran has continued to work tirelessly to eject the last remaining US forces from Iraq and consolidate its influence over the Iraqi political establishment.” They explain that the Iranian government believes the United States is particularly weak right now, too, so Tehran believes that Washington’s does not have much interest in continued proxies with Iranian proxies in Iraq or incidents with the IRGC in the Persian Gulf. Furthermore, the United States is a “convenient scapegoat and distraction that the Iranian regime regularly uses to deflect attention from its own failures,” they argue. Iranian leaders have tried to shift blame for its failings during the coronavirus pandemic to U.S. sanctions, and a disinformation campaign and propaganda effort have spread the conspiracy theory that the United States and Israel are responsible for starting the pandemic.