Iranians respond to Tehran’s attack on Israel with mix of fear and pride

An Iranian cleric chants slogans while attending an anti-Israeli gathering at the Felestin (Palestine) Square in Tehran, Iran, early Sunday, April 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
An Iranian cleric chants slogans while attending an anti-Israeli gathering at the Felestin (Palestine) Square in Tehran, Iran, early Sunday, April 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Iranians were torn between a fear of war and pride at their country’s unprecedented attack on Israel, in which it launched hundreds of attack drones and missiles in retaliation for the deadly strike on its Damascus consulate earlier this month, which it has blamed Israel for.

“It is normal to be worried in this situation, whether from a social or economic point of view,” says 47-year-old Jafari, an employee with Iran’s judiciary who did not give his full name.

“But the fact that Iran has been able to reach this level of special ability… is a matter of pride,” he tells AFP in downtown Tehran.

Israel says 99% of all projectiles launched by Iran last night were intercepted, and it mounted a successful defense with the help of the US, UK, Jordan, France and other allied countries.

Not everyone shares Jafari’s outlook, however.

Milad, a private school teacher who also did not give her full name, says she hopes the “conflict will not continue” because it might lead to a “destructive war” for both Israel and Iran.

“We have not yet completely rebuilt the ruins of the Iran-Iraq war in the country’s southwest,” says the 46-year-old.

“A war is no joke.”

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