Social media has been inundated with videos of Iranian drones and cruise missiles passing over populated centers in Iran and Iraq, en route to Israel. I'm curious if this is plausibly a deliberate tactic to maximize the PR effect of their [counter]strike? (IRNA--the Iranian press agency-- also posted videos of Iranian ballistic missiles launching, something that IIRC they didn't when they struck those US bases in 2020, until after the event.) Now it seems to be a big fireworks show in the media before anything got to the target (Israel). Is this plausibly deliberate, e.g. they chose paths for drones and missiles over their & Iraqi populated centers for the PR effect, when they could have sent them over unpopulated areas?

  • Comments deleted. Please remember the purpose of comments. The goal of comments should be to improve the question. Not to debate its subject matter.
    – Philipp
    Commented Apr 16 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


That could be a possibility. Iran only means to show the world that it would retaliate after the attack on its embassy by Israeli forces - which Israel has refused to acknowledge. This requires visibility. It really couldn't do otherwise. It has come out with a statement directly stating that this was retaliation for the attack and that it now considered the matter closed - unless Israel raises the stakes yet again.

The other possibility is that they are using tried and trusted airspace that they know about and this will likely be over cities. Jordan and Iraq closed their airspace but last I heard the drones were flying over Iraq.

Unsuprisingly Western news media and politicians are staying with the pro-Israel narrative with a few acknowledging that this was retaliatory fire but none - of course - saying that Iran has a right to defend itself as much as Israel does - and of course the Palestinians.

  • 6
    I would hope that few news outlets are saying that Iran, Israel or anyone else has a right to defend itself in their news reporting. Somehow, "On April 13, Iran launched a drone attack on Israel in retaliation for an April 1 Israeli attack on an Iranian consulate" sounds better than "On April 13, Iran exercised its right to defend itself from Israel, which had exercised its right to defend itself from Iran on April 1."
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Apr 14 at 3:11
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    Now, reporting on the Iranian position — which is, obviously, that they were just defending themselves — is good journalism, and a few outlets, like NBC ("Iranian regime exercised 'its inherent right of self-defense' following diplomatic strike, foreign ministry says"), have already done so.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Apr 14 at 3:17
  • A barage of 300 missiles is hardly retaliatory. A minor Iranian counterattack was to be expected; this was an intended massacre. You can't attempt to murder thousands for one general and reasonably call it "retaliation". The politicians are right to refer to it as it is: an inexcusable attack.
    – Rafael
    Commented Apr 18 at 1:44

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