In an address to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 27, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered an Iranophobic speech, in which he accused Iran of having a “secret atomic warehouse,” alongside other allegations. To quote, “Today I’m revealing the site of a second facility: Iran’s secret atomic warehouse. It’s right here, in the Turkuzahbad Distrcit of Tehran. Just three miles away. Let me show you exactly what the secret atomic warehouse looks like. Here it is. You see, like the atomic archive, it’s another innocent-looking compound.”
In an instance, he also held up a flashcard, in which he showed the alleged site in Turquzabad, a small village in the Rey District of Tehran. This particular shot of him holding up the flash card was made the center of jokes and memes widely on the internet. Just like many other people, I, too came across the said photo, which appalled me enough to go to the depth of it. As it turned out, the place that was featured in the prime minister’s flash card was a carpet cleaning warehouse, much to his humiliation all across the internet. Because of this, millennials on the internet got yet another opportunity to create a new series of memes. And being an illustrator, I did not stay behind either.
The said place in Turquzabad, is actually Maher Alley civilians’ favorite place for getting their house carpets all nice and clean. Following that day, one of the biggest photography companies of Iran, ISNA Photo, did a thorough internal photographic tour of the place, revealing its contents. From what I see in these photos, this place looks nothing like an “atomic warehouse,” but I would recommend you to check them out as well.
If I were him – which I’m thankful I’m not – I would react to this humiliation by immediately dismissing the entire team of secret agents assigned with the task of collecting information on the subject.
Netanyahu’s claim was so ridiculous that not even U.S. officials could back it up. In a statement, U.S. Intel said that Netanyahu’s claims about the “Iranian atomic warehouse” were “somewhat misleading.” His claims also incited a reaction from Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mr. Mohammad Javad Zarif. He reacted by saying that “He’s just trying to find a smokescreen […] Nonsense.”
According to Press TV, the top Iranian diplomat said that Netanyahu had repeatedly been proven wrong in his claims about Iran’s nuclear program as shown by recurrent probes of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). “He’s been wrong about the previous [allegations] and he’s wrong about this one,” said Zarif, adding, “The previous allegations that Netanyahu made have been investigated by the IAEA and have been rejected.” Zarif had earlier dismissed Netanyahu’s claims about Iran’s secret nuclear sites, saying in a tweet on Thursday that the Israeli regime was the only entity in the world that had always refused to disclose facts about its nuclear weapons. From what I was able to collect from the official website of the IAEA, much of what the Iranian Foreign Minister says seems to be true.
In conclusion, I have two hypotheses for this whole incident. It depicts that either this was a purposeful attempt by Mossad agents who might have developed an aversion to the state’s Prime Minister, deliberately attempting to humiliate him internationally, or worse – the Israeli Prime Minister is afraid of carpets and carpet laundries.