The Tehran Times published an article headlined “Just One Wrong Move!” on Tuesday in its English language edition featuring a map marked with targets in Israel.
“An intensification of Israeli military threats against Iran seems to suggest that the Zionist regime has forgotten that Iran is more than capable of hitting them from anywhere,” the article declared.
The article quotes the head of the Iranian military, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Bagheri, as saying that Iran “does not intend to strike anyone,” but it was prepared at the “operational and tactical level” for a “decisive response and quick and tough offensive.”
A closer inspection of the map shows a concentration of markers that appear to target Gaza, the stronghold of Hamas. Though Iran is Shia Persian and not Sunni Arab, Hamas is allied closely with Iran and depends on their financial support and missile technology.
Former National Security Council head Maj. Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland told Army Radio on Thursday that this was indeed an absurd aspect to the map.
“They did not invest too much in choosing the targets,” said Eiland, noting that “those who prepared the map did not notice that it also marks Palestinian cities.”
Eiland said Iran had limited abilities in directly attacking Israel from its territory, but that the firepower capabilities of Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, as well as its attempts to arm proxies in Syria and western Iraq, form the bulwark of an authentic and serious threat.
“This is psychological warfare,” Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a senior lecturer on Arabic culture at Bar-Ilan University, explained. “The map is intended to strike fear in our hearts. Every Israeli will look at the map and find where he lives. It is a naturally scary thing to see your house on a map of targets.”
Ironically, by identifying the locations in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, and the Golan, Iran is essentially acknowledging that these areas are sovereign parts of Israel. Otherwise, it could be said that Iran is threatening war with “Palestine”.
“You have to look very carefully but the markers are targeting the border of Gaza and not inside Gaza,” Dr. Kedar explained. “They are targeting the IDF stationed on the border with Gaza.”
“But these are all just lines on a map,” Dr. Kedar added. “If Iran attacks Israel with missiles, even if it succeeds in hitting Jewish cities, it will undoubtedly kill Arabs as well as Jews. No one has developed a missile that can tell the difference and only kill the enemy. One missile going a tiny bit too far could wipe out half of Gaza city.”
“The question is, do they care. Hamas has shown time and again that they are willing to let their civilians die in order to advance their political agenda. It doesn’t matter who shot the rocket that killed the Palestinian civilians, Israel will be blamed and that serves both Hamas and Iran.”