Iranian officials and media have intensified their threatening tone against Israel in recent weeks, especially media controlled by the Revolutionary Guard, IRGC.
“The Zionist media say that just in the past 40 days 15 Zionists have been killed and dozens wounded in a series of Palestinian attacks,” Fars news agency affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard wrote in a report on Saturday.
The language used, such as calling civilian victims of attacks “Zionists”, to justify their killing according to the ideology of Iran’s rulers, is not a new phenomenon, but the obvious triumphant tone in supporting these attacks shows a recent rhetorical escalation.
Fars went on to say, “Just four special operations of Palestinian resistance in only 18 days in March-April took the lives of 14 Zionists and wounded others, creating strong fear in Tel Aviv about a new wave of operations against Zionists.” At the same time, Iranian officials have clearly reiterated their support for ‘Palestinian resistance’ and praised their material support for groups such as the Lebanese Hezbollah.
The unmistakable aggressive tone comes across all platforms, including top leaders of the Islamic Republic, who unleashed a barrage of threatening language in the past few days, as the annual Quds Day approached on Friday.
Quds Day government organized rally in Tehran. April 29, 2022
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Friday delivered a speech to mark the Quds Day, launched by Tehran in the 1990s to show its fundamental opposition to the existence of a Jewish state. "Palestinian youth, and the military manoeuvres in Gaza indicate that all of Palestine has turned into an arena of resistence," he said.
Other officials threatened Arab countries who have normalized relations with Israel, with some highlighting that a new solid-fuel missile, Kheybar could reach Tel Aviv in under 10 minutes.
The aggressive public stance comes at a curious time, when the Biden Administration seems to be in an internal debate over whether to remove the IRGC from its foreign terrorist organzation list, as Tehran has been demanding as a pre-condition to reviving the Obama-era nuclear agreement known as JCPOA.
It would be logical to expect that the Islamic Republic would adopt a more cautious public posture not to put the White House in a more difficult position than what it finds itself in, as domestic opposition rises to further concenssions to Iranians.
But apparently Tehran has decided to highlight the fact that it will not change its interventionist regioanl posture, most clearly demonstrated by the role IRGC plays in supporting and arming militant anti-Israeli and anti-Western militants.
The clear signal came not just from Tehran, but all proxy forces in the region chimed in to highlight their anti-Israel ideology.
The Houthis in Yemen, Shiite militia in Iraq and Hezbollah in Lebanon all joined the messaging from Tehran, reiterating their rejection of Israel and echoing the statements by Khamenei and other Iranian officials on Friday.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah praised Khamenei for supporting “the resistance”, saying, "What Imam Khamenei said today underscored his serious and firm commitment to supporting Palestine and the resistance movements in the region."