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Iran FM rejects Israeli atomic warehouse claims as 'arts and crafts show'

Iran's foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif was quick to rebuke Israel's claims [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 September, 2018

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Israeli claims that Tehran was harbouring a secret atomic warehouse were rejected and belittled as a mere arts and craft show by Iran's foreign minister on Friday.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday dismissed Israeli claims that Tehran was harbouring a secret atomic warehouse.

"No arts & craft show will ever obfuscate that Israel is only regime in our region with a *secret* and *undeclared* nuclear weapons program," Zarif said in a tweet.

He called on Israel saying it was "time to fess up and open its illegal nuclear weapons" programme to international inspectors.

The Iranian minister was responding to allegations made by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday in a speech to the UN General Assembly, embellished by ample use of the colourful props that have become his trademark.

Netanyahu held up a map and a photograph of an outwardly "innocent looking compound" which he said was a secret atomic warehouse in Tehran and urged the UN atomic agency to inspect. 

"Today, I'm disclosing for the first time that Iran has another secret facility in Tehran, a secret atomic warehouse for storing massive amounts of equipment and materiel from Iran's secret nuclear weapons programme," he said.

Netanyahu has often focused on Iran during his annual UN speeches, using his beloved props to bolster his claims. In one address he used a crude diagram of a bomb to illustrate just how "close" Iran was to building a nuke.

This time, he used annotated satellite maps as he alleged to the global body where Iran was hosting covert nuclear sites.

"What Iran hides, Israel will find," he threatened. 

He then praised Trump's decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement, saying Israel was "deeply grateful" for the move.

He added that it had "unintended consequence" of bringing Israel closer to some of its Arab neighbours, likely referring to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE who have all established close links with the country.

"By empowering Iran, it brought Israel and many Arab states closer together than ever before... in an intimacy and friendship that I've not seen in my lifetime and would have been unimaginable a few years ago."

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