A hardliner newspaper in Iran has called for a “formidable blow” against Israel inside its territories, for Israeli operation in Iran and to restore Tehran’s credibility in the region.

In its Sunday issue, Resalat, a publication that belongs to Iran’s traditional conservatives with no direct link with military hardliners, has argued that repeated Israeli attacks in Iran have robbed the Islamic Republic of its image as a regional power.

The article presented at the top of the main page as a an “editorial note” and headlined “Strategic Patience Against Israel Is Meaningless”, has argued that the reason world powers negotiated with Iran was because they took it seriously as a regional power. With repeated attacks against targets inside Iran, Israel has aimed to raise doubts about the Islamic Republic’s power.

Resalat argues that previous Israeli attacks in Syria and elsewhere against Iranian officials and interests “were painful” but not as serious as attacks in “Tehran, Esfahan and Yazd.”

The paper is referring to what many are convinced are Israeli operations in Iran that started in July 2020 and inflicted heavy damage on key nuclear scientist installations and killed important figures, such as the top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in November 2020 in Tehran. These attacks were extremely complex operations, which showed that those behind it had infiltrated the country and possibly even the government and security agencies.

The attacks have indeed become painful for the clerical regime perhaps more for the political damage they have inflicted on the image of a ruling system that has failed economically and its only claim to power emanates from its extensive military and intelligence structures and their influence in other regional countries.

Resalat says that Israeli attacks have led to an atmosphere of insecurity in Iran and are aimed at portraying the government as weak in the region. It goes on to argue that with the power of its regional proxies and its ballistic missiles aimed at the heart of Israel, the Islamic Republic could project power in recent past, but now these levers seem to be inadequate, and a more powerful response is needed.

“The length and breadth of the Zionist enemy’s territory from Tel Aviv to Haifa and to its nuclear installations in Dimona are within the range of Iran’s precision missiles,” Resalat says. “Our allies from north and north-east to south-east dominate the occupied territories [Israel],” it goes on to say.

“There is no reason to doubt that Iran’s long arm should inflict a formidable and unexpected blow on the enemy to instill regret, and it is important to inflict simultaneous blows inside the occupied territories,” the hardliner paper says.

But the editorial note does not stop there. “Even inflicting blows against the interests of Israel’s allies, especially America and Britain is a proposal worth noting and one of the options on the table,” it says and adds, “One must punish the father so the child takes notice”.

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