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Drama, visual aids as Netanyahu makes nuclear claims on Iran

September 27, 2018
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Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shows an atomic warehouse in Teheran during his address the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — This was no normal diplomatic speech.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held the U.N. General Assembly in suspense Thursday — and flashed boldly printed props — as he accused Iran of hiding a clandestine nuclear warehouse in a rug-cleaning plant.

He built up to it with theatrical aplomb. “What I’m about to say has not been shared publicly before.”

Pause.

“I’m disclosing for the first time that Iran has another secret facility in Tehran, a secret atomic warehouse.”

In case anyone in the hall hadn’t already been paying attention, he took the unusual step of brandishing visual aids — a poster-board map, then a poster-board photo, then another poster-board map.

It wasn’t his first time. Netanyahu is known for its showmanship at the U.N. General Assembly. In 2012, he famously held up a poster-board of a cartoon bomb while discussing Iran’s nuclear program.

“Where should the red line be drawn? A red line should be drawn right here,” Netanyahu said during his presentation, his marker squeaking across the poster.

“Each day, that point is getting closer,” Netanyahu said in 2012. “And that’s why I speak today with such a sense of urgency.”

Netanyahu vigorously opposes a 2015 deal curbing Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for a lifting of sanctions. Iran denies pursuing nuclear weapons. President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the agreement in May.

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