If threatened, Iran could wreak havoc in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and Israel.
Two thoughts leap in to mind at this, beyond the obvious “does no one at the NY Times have a clue?”.
First is, isn’t Iran already doing this? As far as I can tell, the mullahocracy is already exerting every effort to wreak havoc in those locations. What more could they do that wouldn’t be counter productive (e.g., politically justify air strikes on Iranian military assets)? Are the writers at the Times really that unaware of what’s going on in the world?
The other thought is, this is what happens when you have no restraint. You rapidly reach a point at which further threats are meaningless because you’ve already cranked your volume to 11. The Palestinians have been there for years and now Iran is as well. If only the West had the intelligence and backbone to deal with them on that basis.