Raisi starkly warns Israel

April 18, 2022 - 17:59

TEHRAN – Iranian President Ayatollah Seyed Ebrahim Raisi on Monday issued a strong warning against any Israeli move to harm Iran, making sure that Iran is aware of Israel’s possible plans to take the battle into Iran. 

The timing and the venue from which the warning was issued could not be more meaningful. President Raisi made the remarks during a military parade held on the occasion of the Iranian Army Day. Flanked by Army generals in an elevated stand, Raisi told parading troops that Iran will respond to any Israeli aggression against Iran in Israel’s depth. 

Underlining that Iran will never start a war, but will face any aggression with a remorseful and decisive response, President Raisi announced the high readiness of the country's military forces and the high intelligence elite of these forces in the face of regional and international developments.

He asserted that the slightest movement of the enemy will not be hidden from the sharp eyes of Iran’s armed forces, noting, “The Zionist regime [Israel] that is seeking to normalize relations with some regional countries must now that the slightest move it makes will not be hidden from the sharp eyes and intelligence of the Armed Forces and intelligent forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Stressing that any movement of the Zionist regime against Iran will lead to a decisive response from the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Raisi warned the leaders of the regime, “Beware that the great and formidable power of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran will not leave you as you are for a second.”

This is the highest-level warning after the Iranian missile strike in March against a “Mossad headquarters” in Erbil, northern Iraq, which was reportedly a response to a previously announced Israeli drone attack in the western Iranian province of Kermanshah.

Iran’s Al-Alam news television said the missile attack, launched by the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC), came in response to a recent Israeli drone attack in the Mahidasht region in western Iran.

Little is known about the Mahidasht strike but it apparently marked a significant stage in what Israelis call the “Octopus doctrine,” which happens to be a brainchild of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.  

The doctrine means that Israel should take the battle to Iran instead of fighting Iran’s allies across the West Asia region. Bennett outlined the doctrine at the Herzliya Conference in May 2018 when he was education minister. 

“While we’re shedding blood fighting their tentacles, the octopus’s head is lounging in its chair enjoying itself,” he said of Iran, adding that it was time for Israel “to aim at the head of the octopus and not its tentacles.”

Bennett reiterated the doctrine when he became defense minister, saying in February 2020 that “when the tentacles of the octopus strike you, do not fight only against the tentacle, but suffocate its head. Likewise with Iran.”

But Bennett has largely failed in carrying out his doctrine due to Iran’s vigilance. Israel was unable to mount a significant attack inside Iran. And the Mahidasht attack was so minor in its effect that Israel was unwilling to highlight it at the media level just as it does with the attacks that it does not claim responsibility for. 

Anyway, Iran seems more vigilant than ever vis-a-vis Israel’s moves. Iran has long said it is watching all the steps Israel makes in the region whether through its new allies or directly. And has the will to respond to any aggressive move, as Raisi said.

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