Finding “a middle ground” you say, but others might call it a dangerous appeasement of the Neville Chamberlain variety. Leaving how to respond to Iranian expansion to the side, the larger point is that you fundamentally misunderstand “soft power”. It is not just a scorecard in which the nicest, most flexible, most soft-spoken country racks up points and gets a high soft power ranking. Soft power is manifest in the use of economic strength, cultural influence, covert control, and social networking. By framing the issue in terms of some kind of holier-than-thou soft power competition between the UK and US, you fail to see the obvious. Britain has not gained soft power: It has lost it. It is seen as a weak pushover. Exhibit number one is its inability to negotiate a good Brexit deal. Its best way to have gotten a good deal was to have leveraged its special relationship with the US. It should have pushed to get a good trade deal with the US, and asked the US to use its economic soft power to lean on the EU.