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Iranian newspaper threatens Israel with a map of dozens of military targets

Front page of pro-government Tehran Times suggests Iran would retaliate against any 'wrong move' by Israel
The front page of Tehran Times, a paper close to Iran's foreign ministry, shows a map of targets in Israel, 15 December 2021 (screengrab)

An Iranian newspaper has published a map on its front page listing dozens of potential military targets across Israel, warning against any action being taken against the Islamic Republic.

Tehran Times, which reportedly has close links to Iran's foreign ministry, titled the map: "Just One Wrong Move!"

A nuclear deal is currently being negotiated in Vienna between the Iranians and the 4+1 nations of Britain, Germany, France, China and Russia.

In recent weeks senior Israeli security and intelligence officials have been pressing the US to clip Iran's capabilities to develop a nuclear project in any new deal.

The Tehran Times article, which was written in English, said the increasing threats against Iran seemed to suggest that the "Zionist regime has forgotten that Iran is more than capable of hitting them from anywhere".

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Tehran Times' map showed locations in multiple regions in Israel, including Gush Dan, an area 90km long and 20km wide near the coast, which is home to the cities of Tel Aviv and Herzliya and is considered a significant hub for Israel's defence, intelligence and financial sectors.

It also shows targets in Negev, in the south of Israel, where the Dimona nuclear reactor is located, as well as targets near the Palestinian cities of Ramallah, Hebron and Jenin in the occupied West Bank, and near Tyre and Nabatieh in Lebanon. Some appear close to the Israeli fence with the besieged Gaza Strip.

'Amateurish and unprofessional'

Mohammad Bagheri, Iran's army chief of general staff, said, according to Tehran Times, that "despite our confidence in the deterrence situation of the country, our forces have never underestimated the threat of the enemy and are prepared for the smallest of threats in the strategic field".

He added, referring to Israel, that Iran's military forces are in a state of "maximum vigilance commensurate with the enemy's situation.

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"At the strategic level, we do not intend to strike anyone, but at the operational and tactical level we are ready for a decisive response and a quick and tough offensive against the enemy," Bagheri said.

Tehran Times also quoted Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei responding to Israeli military threats against Iran in 2013, saying that "[the Israelis] must know that if they make a mistake, the Islamic Republic will destroy Tel Aviv and Haifa".

Once close allies and friends of the US, ties between Israel and Iran fell apart following the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Some Israeli political analysts considered the map part of the propaganda war between Israel and Iran, and questioned its credibility. Ynet news site described it as "amateurish and unprofessional", adding that some of the "targets" don't actually exist on the ground.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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