Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iranian President Mahmoud AhmadinejadReuters

Iran’s leadership has publicly stated that it would crush any Israeli offensive against its nuclear facilities, but Iran’s ordinary citizens appear to feel otherwise, Channel 10 News reported on Monday.

The channel spoke with several Iranian citizens who, without revealing their identities, said that there is great tension and fear among Iranians over a possible war with Israel.

“The Iranians understand their current president says terrible things about Israel,” said one Iranian, a resident of Bushehr. “You can be sure that not all Iranians agree with the behavior of their leaders.”

The Iranian, who was identified as H., admitted that, contrary to the declarations of Iran’s leaders, the West's harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic have severely hurt innocent civilians. “There are a lot of poor people who need help, they work day and night to survive. Please, do not attack us,” he said.

Although the Bushehr reactor is considered to be less alarming to the West, H. claimed that local residents were very worried about their fate should Israel attack Iran. “If war breaks out, Bushehr will be perhaps the most dangerous place in the Middle East,” he said.

Another citizen from northern Iran told Channel 10, “This is not a conflict or dispute between Israel and Iran, but only between the countries’ two governments.”

Some citizens also claimed that the Iranian nuclear program is not necessarily intended to harm Israel. "We are surrounded by Arabs who hate us," said A., a resident of Tehran. "Just like Israel, it makes sense for us to have a nuclear reactor."