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    5. Iranian government celebrates 'revenge' strikes on Israel, but civilians fear ..

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    Iranian government celebrates 'revenge' strikes on Israel, but civilians fear response

    Crowds gather in Tehran early Sunday morning to celebrate the missile attacks. Photo: MAJID SAEEDI/GETTY People honking car horns and waving flags in Tehran's Palestine Square Photo: ABEDIN TAHERKENARH/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

    Footage obtained by The Telegraph showed long queues stretching hundreds of metres. near gas stations as people rushed to prepare for an emergency.

    Highways leading out of Tehran were blocked by traffic jams as many began evacuating the only exit route after the closure of Mehrabad airport, and will continue to do so until Monday morning.< /p>

    Iranians in the central city of Qom, home to Fordo, the site of an underground uranium enrichment plant located on a former Iranian military base and a potential target of Israeli retaliation, residents are hiding in bunkers for attack.

    “At midnight I called my people cousins ​​to Fordo village and told them to leave immediately,” Maysam from Qom told The Telegraph.

    “We might also consider leaving Qom. An attack is one thing, but potential nuclear radiation is another matter entirely,” he said.

    “People are scared and we are constantly on the phone with relatives discussing our options.”

    Iranian lawmakers welcome an open session of parliament in Tehran as the country launches a drone attack. Photo: Icana News Agency/ZUMA Press Wire/Shutterstock Locals celebrate as footage of the attacks is broadcast in central Tehran. Photo: Morteza Nikubazl/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

    “You can’t sleep here,” Tehran resident Ali said in a telephone interview after midnight in the early minutes of Sunday.

    “Even my child knows what’s going on. We are getting ready to flee Tehran to my parents, 200 km away.”

    “People are terrified,” he added. “The authorities have taken a huge bet. It looks like suicide. This may be their downfall, but the public will suffer the most.”

    Iran's decision to launch a direct attack on Israel could lead to “military confrontation on multiple fronts,” said Antonio Guterres, UN secretary-general, and significantly destabilize the Middle East.

    The region is already under stress as Israel's war with Hamas a week ago led to brutal fighting lasting more than six months, prompting earlier warnings from Britain and other countries that that Iran should not react.

    Hossein Salami, commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said the strikes were “even more successful than expected” despite the fact that they were “deliberately contained and consistent with the scale of aggression shown by the Zionist regime.”

    Iran has not provided concrete evidence to support this, although it suggests the regime still has the firepower to escalate the situation – one of the many ways Tehran is threatening Israel and its allies to cut off further engagement.

    Meanwhile, Tawab, a farmer who woke up in the night to an Iranian attack on Israel, said he had been preparing for the conflict for some time.

    A new mural depicting the Iranian attack has appeared in Tehran Photo: Haydar Shaheen/Anadolu via Getty Images

    “I've been stockpiling canned goods for years in anticipation of potential retribution, but never thought they'd be stupid enough to do it .

    “We don’t know what to do now or where to go,” he said. “Israel will not just sit and watch. War is just a few steps away from us.”

    A state television presenter urged the nation not to worry about the financial cost of the strikes, saying that “we have already paid for 200 to 300 missiles,” referring to the capture in Saturday of a cargo ship in the Strait of Hormuz.

    “Our guys received this Israeli ship… it’s very big… the guys will open the containers, then we’ll see what’s in them. After its sale, we will cover the cost of the strikes,” he added.

    The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) seized the Portuguese ship MCS Aries in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday.

    On Saturday, the IRGC attacked the Portuguese ship MCS Aries in the Strait of Hormuz. Photo: AP Photo

    State media said Iran was aiming to intimidate Israel with its attack.

    “This attack served as a demonstration of its military power and could penetrate the collective defense efforts of the United States, Israel, France, England and Jordan and reach Israeli cities such as Jerusalem, the Negev, Tel Aviv or Haifa,” he said. the official IRNA news agency reported.

    “From a tactical point of view, Iran’s maneuver cannot be classified as a large-scale operation.

    “However, striking Israel from Iranian territory was its main task. achievement. The Israelis are now making rapid efforts to restore their position after the operation is over.

    “Otherwise there would not have been such a delay in the release of images showing the Iranian missile that would likely have had to go through military censorship channels .

    “Iran has effectively achieved its dual goals of demonstration and intimidation. And the destruction of a few grounded fighters could potentially increase the strategic success of this operation.”

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