To be perfectly honest, I’m not exactly a neutral party when it comes to countries in the middle east. I’ve lost friends in both Iraq and Afghanistan. With that caveat out of the way, here’s my understanding about the current situation.
First, Iran took the view a long time ago that it would support terrorism in the middle east as an asymmetric response to the military might of the United States and Israel. This is perfectly normal and logical, as terrorism is an asymmetric strategy.
Second, relations between the US and Iran have drifter closer and more distant over the years and administrations. If Iran really wanted to emerge from US sanctions, it could have done so by capitalizing on the weakness of the Obama administration. That Iran chose not to manipulate the Obama administration into normalized relations simply means that Iran prefers supporting terrorism to ending sanctions. This is not surprising to anyone who has paid attention to the actions and choices that Iranian leadership has historically made.
Third, killing the leader of the Quds force is a good thing. It is the first signal to Iran in decades that the United States is fed up with the Iranian efforts to destabilize Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria in order to attack Israel. The rocket attack retaliation is normal, because Iran, just like Russia, will ALWAYS respond to any potential threat to their interests.
Lastly, we probably aren’t going to war with Iran. Killing one man to prevent further attacks in Iraq was a deliberate message, just like their rockets were a deliberate message. The wild card here is the Trump administration, which has a reputation for blustery foreign policy that accomplishes very little (China and North Korea for example). The reason why Trump is accomplishing very little is that we swap out leaders every 4 to 8 years, and they are simply waiting to deal with the next guy in 1 or 5 years.