The role of narratives in establishing norms have become a central consideration in policy formulation, accelerated by the past decade of a war against terror, and what exactly that might mean, and how exactly language has shaped policy.
Two articles have now considered the effect of the media debate on policy formulation with regards to Iran. Stephen Walt in FP and Benn in the generally left-of-centre Haaretz (thanks to Nina for the latter link).
With the discourse shaped towards "not if but when", the next development will be post-conflict planning discourse, without the conflict having yet occurred. In that way, societies will start to live with the idea of the conflict. Then when it happens, it's simply a part of the normative framework of the foreign policy.
So the next discussions will be on how Iran will respond - will it use Hezbollah and can it. Will it act in Hormuz? Will it start an energy war? How will this affect the internal dynamics of the country? It's a little early for history to repeat itself, but expect some analysts to suggest that the nation will rise up once Israel and American take action against the nuclear installations which are the property of a tyrannical regime.
Also, Ahmadinejad is getting sidelined after his support base was weakened in parliamentary elections for the majilis earlier in the month. Hardliners are now in place.