Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi has mocked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent claims about a secret atomic warehouse in Tehran.
“I really think that some people are pulling Netanyahu’s leg,” Araqchi told IRIB in a short interview on Friday.
Netanyahu’s spectacle at the UN drew swift and wide reaction on social media, with Twitter users posting largely derisive comments using #Turquzabad.
2) For Farsi speakers, “Turquzabad” is a term equivalent to “John Doe” or “Main Street” or “NoWhereLand” in English, which are terms that carry no real semantic information. Among Iranians, it is often used in a derisive way in a comical context.
— Reza Nasri (@RezaNasri1) September 28, 2018
— Sarosh Yakoob Mehdi (@whereangelsdare) September 28, 2018
— raz zimmt (@RZimmt) September 28, 2018
— ساری پیشیک (@Sari_pishik) September 27, 2018
— Seyed Yasser Jebraily (@YJebraily) September 28, 2018
— Truth NGO (@truth_ngo) September 28, 2018
— Press TV (@PressTV) September 28, 2018
During his speech on Thursday at the 73rd annual session of the UN General Assembly in New York, the Israeli prime minister used a map and photographs of a building that he claimed was a “secret atomic weapons warehouse” in the Iranian capital, Tehran.
“In May we exposed the site of Iran’s secret atomic archive. Today, I’m revealing the site of a second facility; Iran’s secret atomic warehouse,” claimed the Israeli PM, who added, “Iran has not abandoned its goal to develop nuclear weapons.”
Shortly after Netanyahu’s speech, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif lashed out at the Israeli premier for his baseless claims against Iran, saying Tel Aviv is in no position to level such accusations against Tehran.
“Netanyahu must explain how Israel, as the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East region, can put itself in a position to level such brazen accusations against a country whose [nuclear] program has been repeatedly declared peaceful by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),” Zarif told IRNA.
Israel is estimated to have 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal. The regime, however, refuses to either accept or deny having the weapons.
It has also evaded signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) amid staunch endeavor by the United States and other Western states on international levels in favor of its non-commitment to the accord.
Iran has repeatedly announced that its nuclear program is merely for peaceful purposes and poses no threat to the international peace and security.
Back in June, the Iranian foreign minister decried Israel’s nukes as a real threat to the Middle East region and the rest of the world, calling for a new focus on the occupying regime’s nuclear arsenal.
In a post on his official Twitter account, Zarif said although Iran had no nuclear weapons, Israel, which is the sole Middle Eastern country to possess such weapons, continued to “howl” about “fabricated” Iranian “ambitions.”