In Tehran, fears grow of potential Iran-Israel war


Tehran: After three days off, people came in tehran Returned to work as usual on Saturday, but clouds of worry were looming Tension There may be a war between Iran and its arch enemy Israel.
Private Maryam, 43, said, “I don't know who is guilty and who is not, but it is better to compromise so that war does not start and innocent people do not die.” Sector worker.
Like most Iranians, Maryam has been following news of the standoff between Iran and Israel since the attack on the Iranian Consulate in Damascus on April 1.
attackTehran blamed Israel for the attack, which killed seven members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, including two generals.
Iran has since vowed to punish Israel for the attack, without specifying how.
The United States and other countries have urged restraint.
Relations worsened on Saturday, when Iran seized a ship belonging to Israel in the Gulf.
Israel then issued a warning that Iran “will face consequences if it chooses to further escalate the situation”.
Iranian reformist newspaper Shargh said on Saturday that “the longer Tehran's response is delayed, the more negative the consequences will be on the country's economy and the more concerns will increase in society”.
The uncertainty has affected the Iranian New Year, celebrated on March 31, as well as students' return to school after long holidays following the end of Ramadan.
“God willing, our government will prioritize reason over emotions,” said Salehi, a 75-year-old retired government employee in central Tehran.
“If that's the case then there should be no conflict,” he told AFP.
– 'War is always bad' –
But other Tehran residents would like the government to have an even stronger response, as seen after previous killings of Iranian soldiers for which Israel was blamed.
“This time we should respond with more seriousness and determination,” said Yusuf, a 37-year-old private sector employee.
Ehsan, a 43-year-old university professor, said it was “logical” to retaliate after the Israelis “attacked an Iranian diplomatic building” in the Syrian capital, Damascus.
He said, “War is always bad and worrying – a person who has experienced war will never support it, but sometimes war is necessary to achieve peace.”
“It seems that the authorities have not yet taken a final decision, as it would potentially have serious consequences,” said Ahmed Zeidabadi, an expert on international relations.
Tehran would also have to take into account the impact any response would have on public opinion, he said, which is currently more concerned about economic difficulties than the war in Gaza.
“The prospect of war worries business leaders, especially those who depend on foreign exchange rates,” Zeidabadi told AFP.
“Some of them fear it will lead to food shortages.”
In a sign of these fears, Iran's rial has fallen to a historic low of around 650,000 against the US dollar on the black market.
Ali Bigdeli, an academic specializing in international affairs, said the government also faces a “dilemma” at the strategic level.
“An Israeli attack could drag Iran to the edge of an unwanted war,” Bigdeli told the reformist newspaper Ha'am Mihan.
He said, “It is in Israel's interest to enter the war and attack Israel from Iranian territory.”
This, he said, could provide Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “justification for the Gaza war, and end the Gaza war in the shadow of war with Iran.”
Hossein Jaberi Ansari, Iran's former deputy foreign minister, said that Tehran should “choose the least costly as well as the most profitable option to respond to Israel”.
“The most legitimate targets of an Iranian attack would be Israeli security and military installations in the territories occupied since 1967, especially in the Golan Heights,” he said.

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