Iran’s 'verbal' war against Israel continues - analysis

The messages from Iran’s key military leaders and its allies in Lebanon are clear.

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi gives a speech during a ceremony to mark the second anniversary of the killing of senior Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani in a US attack, in Tehran, Iran, January 3, 2022. (photo credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)
Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi gives a speech during a ceremony to mark the second anniversary of the killing of senior Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani in a US attack, in Tehran, Iran, January 3, 2022.
(photo credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)

Iran seems to come out with new threats and verbal bashing of Israel every day. From anger over claims that Israel overflies Saudi airspace, to bashing Israel for “child killing,” the Iranian media-military verbal onslaught is continuous.

Last week, during a visit to Bandar Abbas, a port city and main base of the Iranian Navy, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander Maj.-Gen. Hossein Salami said Iran’s naval units were ready for any confrontation.“We thank God Almighty that with the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the oppressors and the arrogant fled our land,” he said.

Salami slammed “colonialists” who had tried to defeat Iran, and he bashed the United States.

“We have grounded our enemies on land, sea and air,” he said. He didn’t mention Israel directly, but the context was clear: Iran has been able to threaten the US and US partners in the region.

Over the weekend, Iran’s Tasnim News Agency complained that Israel was able to fly over Saudi Arabia in a “military plane.”

“For the second time in less than a month, Saudi Arabia reopened its airspace to an Israeli military official,” Tasnim reported. This was a reference to IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi flying to the Singapore Air Show.

 IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi at the Singapore Airshow on February 19, 2022 (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON UNIT) IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi at the Singapore Airshow on February 19, 2022 (credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON UNIT)

Tasnim also complained about Defense Minister Benny Gantz flying to Bahrain over Saudi Arabia. 

“Earlier, Zionist media reported that Israeli President [Isaac] Herzog had arrived in the United Arab Emirates on an official visit from Saudi airspace,” it reported.

On Sunday, Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Mohammad Bagheri also attacked Israel.

“Today we can say with certainty that the oppressive and arrogant enemies of the Iranian nation can hardly even imagine the idea of a military invasion of the country, and this is not something that is easily achieved,” he said. “Today, as we see, global arrogance and child-killing Zionists do not respect any of the moral rules or human rights.”

Salami said if Israel sees weakness in Iran, it will certainly use “aggression against Iran. Hence, we can say that the Armed Forces have acted in a way that restored security and peace to the country, and the stability and peace in our country today is exemplary in the region.”

A Hezbollah member of Lebanon’s parliament, Ali Fayyaz, slammed Israel on Sunday, Iranian media outlets reported.

The “strength of the resistance forces [has changed the] deterrence equation, so that their progress covers land, sea and air,” he was quoted as saying. This is “forcing the Israelis to retreat. This power will restore Lebanese sovereignty over the sea and impose defeat [of] the Zionist regime.”

Fayyaz bragged about the growing power of Hezbollah.

“These are the facts and realities that we will see,” he was quoted as saying. It was only a matter of time before the balance of power between Hezbollah and the “Zionist enemy” would be changed “in favor of the resistance [Hezbollah], because the enemy is unable to understand its rules and logic,” he said.

The messages from Iran’s key military leaders and its allies in Lebanon are clear. Iran believes it has imposed its will on the region and that it can increasingly challenge Israel.

Hezbollah used a drone to fly into Israeli airspace last week. Iran continues to traffic arms to Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon. This is the context of the messages and threats.