Israeli response to attack may be ‘imminent,’ source says

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The prospect of Israeli retaliation against Iran for its drone and missile attack over the weekend has alarmed many Iranians already facing economic pain and tighter social and political controls after protests in 2022-23.

Iran’s political and military leaders have repeatedly warned that they will respond to any Israeli retaliation by escalating further, potentially triggering yet more attacks.

And that would only be bad news for ordinary people, said Hesam, 45, a teacher from the northern city of Amol.

“Economic pressure will mount. Our safety will be jeopardized. … We must avoid conflict at all cost. I don’t want a war. How can I protect my two children? Nowhere will be safe.”

Middle- and lower-income Iranians are shouldering much of the burden of the economic woes, with inflation over 50%; rising utility, food and housing prices; and the rial currency falling sharply.

Parvaneh, 37, a mother of two in the central city of Yazd, fears an Israeli strike could be the final hammer blow to the economy, weakened by years of sanctions, mismanagement and corruption.

“We Iranians have endured more than enough for years. War brings only disaster. My husband is a factory worker. We do not have even enough money to buy staples, let alone stockpile them,” she said.

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