The constant rhetoric in the U.S. and Israel about potential military strikes against Iran, along with recent revelations about covert U.S. action inside Iran, has terrified a nation staring down the barrel of a superpowers gun.
“I don’t think we can know just yet if war will break out, but I am concerned for my family and my country,” university teacher Maryam Sofi, a mother of two, told Reuters. “I cannot sleep at night, thinking about destruction and bloodshed if Israel and America attack Iran.”
Hyperbolic reactions to the recent IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear program have prompted heightened war rhetoric from Israel and the United States. On Thursday, President Obama used a popular euphemism for international aggression, saying “No options off the table means I’m considering all options.”
But the IAEA report put forth no definitive evidence of an imminent Iranian nuclear weapons capability, and in fact confirmed the non-diversion of fissile material.
It is now widely understood that the U.S. and Israel are engaging in a covert war against Iran, which includes cyber-warfare, commercial sabotage, targeted assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists, support for Iranian terrorists aiming to undermine the regime, a vast espionage apparatus, and harsh economic sanctions.
Some residents of Iran are leaving the country out of fear that a U.S.-Israeli military attack or other efforts will severely damage the humanitarian well-being of ordinary Iranians.
“In case of an attack … we will be imprisoned inside the country … the borders will be closed,” Zahra Farzaneh, whose son lives in the United States, told Reuters. “I will die without seeing my grandchildren again.”
“It will be a terrible war … After the first strike the country and then the whole region will turn into a war zone,” said Hossein Alaie, a shopkeeper in central Tehran.