In Tehran, there is the usual mix of stories of protest, support for Hamas and Obama's Iranian 'dilemma'- but the strangest story is this from the Los Angeles Times:
In Tehran, Iran, a senior Iranian official and ranking cleric told worshippers that Hamas possesses a “new weapon” to use if Israel decides upon a ground invasion. The advanced weapon would allow the militant group to target Israeli tanks “from a long distance,” said former Iranian president Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, chairman of Iran’s powerful Expediency Council.
Is Rafsanjani's sabre rattling related to this from couple of days ago? Radio Free Europe/Farda has a story that an Iranian newspaper has been closed for criticising the Iranian Government's support of Hamas. US public diplomacy has subsequently stirred the pot by claiming the reform paper was close to Rafsanjani.
Perhaps the most significant and under-reported story is that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki today started a visit to Iran, telling Iranian state television that his government would not allow Iraq to be used as a base to threaten its neighbours. The question of the Iraqi-based Iranian exile organisation MKO, whom Iraq wants to expel and Iran wants to extradite, will doubtless also come up. He will talk with Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khameini.
Anne Penketh of the Independent also balances a non-story that the war in Gaza will harden Israeli support for strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities, with a few home truths about the reality of Iran's nuclear threat to Israel. There was also the story a few days ago that Iranian groups have been recruiting suicide bombers to travel to Israel and have been lobbying the government for assistance (which was not forthcoming)
Meanwhile, what has been lacking in news coverage is any real contemplation of the nature of an Israeli ground offensive. Only the Los Angeles Times has this quote from an Israeli military analyst:
Israeli analysts and experts have said that any ground operation should be brief but powerful. Alex Fishman, the military analyst of the daily Yediot Aharonot, wrote Friday, “Since the name of the game is killing and destruction, the ground operation has to be quick, with a lot of firepower at friction points with Hamas.” He added, “The goal is to exact a high price in the early stages of the ground operation and to end it quickly.”