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Nervousness reigns as ordinary Iranians fear Israel war looming

Fears of a military conflict with Israel are fast spreading among many Iranians who are already feeling the economic impacts of the recent escalation and facing the state crackdown over criticism of the Israel attack.
A view of an anti-Israel mural illustrates appreciation for the IRGC attack on Israel with text in Persian reading "The next slap will be stronger" and in Hebrew "Your next mistake will be the end of your fake country."

TEHRAN — Iranian officials and state media remained in a celebratory mood following the April 13 "triumph" over Israel, when Tehran launched an attack in retaliation against a suspected Israeli strike on the Iranian Consulate in Damascus.

From state TV programs to government billboards, the campaign has provided a clear message: If Israel responds to the attack, the next "slap" in its face will be "even harder," with the leading ultraconservative paper, Kayhan, jubilantly highlighting on its Tuesday front page the "punishment and humiliation of Israel."

Such headlines have echoed the latest remarks by Iranian military and political leaders who have warned that a possible Israeli response will be met with an even more "painful and far stronger attack."

The mood among the ordinary public appears strikingly different, though. As the warnings are being traded with Israel, many Iranians are expressing worries about their country being on the cusp of a destructive war. 

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