Iran Cranks Up Retaliation Rhetoric

YERUSHALAYIM -

Iran cranked up its threat propaganda on Tuesday, as Brigadier General Kioumars Heydari, the commander of the Iranian ground forces, claimed that “the date has already been set” for the destruction of Israel, according to the Iranian news agency Mehr.

Heydari gave a speech ahead of Iran’s “Army Day,” which begins Wednesday, on the same day as Israeli Independence Day.

He boasted that unlike Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region, which import weapons from the West, his country produces its own weapons.

“We are determined to defend our country and the security of the countries of the region, and when other countries seek to create chaos in the region, we must equip ourselves to defend,” Khatami said during a debate in the Iranian parliament. “Fortunately, today we enjoy the possibility of producing better weapons than those which currently exist in the world.”

Unlike past incidents in which Iranian reprisals were carried out by proxies such as Hezbollah, this time Israel’s defense establishment is anticipating a direct attack with surface-to-surface missiles or armed drones, The Times of Israel said.

Among the signs that Tehran will launch a significant retaliation was the admission that Iranian officers were killed in the strike, as well as the public funeral held for them in the capital. By contrast, Iran usually plays down such military casualties.

Senior Israeli officials said on Tuesday that all necessary precautions will be taken to ensure that Memorial Day and Independence Day observances will proceed without disturbance.