In recent weeks we have seen numerous probing attempts and provocations in and around the Strait of Hormuz — whether false flags or actual events — intended to raise the profile of the US's unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA, and renewed US sanctions versus Iran. Iran is pushing the issue with the United States, and is apparently offering a sacrificial pawn on the board (or perhaps knight!) by seizing two British oil tankers alleged to be operating illegally in the Strait of Hormuz.
While it is too soon to predict how the United States and its allies Israel and Saudi Arabia (both sworn enemies of Iran) will react, let's explore the reasons why any US reactionary response will be largely symbolic, even if that involves a token strike versus Iran.
Global alliances have shifted
Turkey has defacto announced its withdrawal from NATO, by its purchase of S-400 missiles. That purchase and collaboration with Russia guarantees its departure from NATO, even if Turkey has not publicly announced such a withdrawal. Furthermore, while Turkey's military bases host US aircraft and operations, Turkey says it will not allow its bases to be used in any attack on Iran, by the US.
Iraq, an ally of Iran, has likewise stated that it will not allow its territory to be used as a base for attacking Iran.
Next, Imran Khan's Pakistan has moved away from its alliance with the US to court China. China is Pakistan's largest trading partner, and China has guaranteed security to Pakistan for Kashmir. Thus, no bases in Pakistan will be provided to the United States for any attack on Iran.
China and Russia have warned Washington too that it must not attack Iran. Iran has guarantees from Russia, China, Pakistan, Turkey, and even Japan and India that its economic future is secure… despite US sanctions.
So, only Saudia remains as a host for US aggression versus Iran. But Saudia has much to lose by hosting US aggression, especially with Russia pushing OPEC+. And even the largely defunct Arab League opposes US aggression versus Iran, from any Saudi base.
Iran will fight back
Next, consider the military force that Iran has at its disposal. From advanced Grad rockets to the Kornet, expect an announcement soon that S-400's and other advanced armaments will be provided to Iran to ensure its right to defend itself. That, in conjunction with an already formidable array of defensive weapons to secure Iran's borders and sea lanes will guarantee a formidable defense.