After hitting targets in neighboring Pakistan, Iraq and Syria with missiles, Iran talked tough Wednesday, playing up — to friends and foes alike — not only its military capabilities but its determination to strike enemies at will.

"We are a missile power in the world,” Iran’s defense minister, Mohammad Reza Ashtiani, told reporters after a Cabinet meeting, according to state media. "Wherever they want to threaten the Islamic Republic of Iran, we will react, and this reaction will definitely be proportionate, tough and decisive.”

Iran’s show of strength was meant to reassure conservatives domestically and militant allies abroad, and to warn Israel, the United States and terrorist groups that Iran will strike back if attacked, according to two Iranians affiliated with the Revolutionary Guard who were familiar with the planning, and who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive security matters. Supporters of Iran’s authoritarian clerical regime have been incensed by recent attacks on Iran that made it appear vulnerable, demanding a powerful response.