“A dog does nothing more than bark and we have no confidence in these threats.”

These were the words of Iran’s ground forces commander Ataollah Salehi at Iran’s Army Day, the last one overseen by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The statement was a response to recent threats from Israel that they will attack Iran’s nuclear sites. Israel believes that Iran is out to destroy their well publicized enemy, but Iran insists that their nuclear sites are solely being used for peaceful purposes (electricity).

Words like this are expected from Ahmadinejad, who has historically chosen Army Day as a podium to bash the U.S and other Iranian enemies. Instead, the President chose to use his voice to praise the bravery of Iranian soldiers and honor the holiday. It was here that Salehi stepped up to fill in  for the void in anger that usually characterizes this holiday.

Iran should be careful though. They may call Israel a dog, but plenty of people are probably hoping for a cat. Maybe if a “cat got the tongue” of Iran, tensions could settle rather than boil. This rhetoric is dangerous, because while dogs do bark, they also bite when provoked.

Is Israel all bark and no bite? 

How should the U.S react to this information?