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Netanyahu puts on new anti-Iran show at UN, repeats baseless nuclear claims

Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the United Nations General Assembly on September 27, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once again taken the stage at the United Nations to bring out fresh theatrics against Iran, repeating his threadbare allegation that the country is working to develop nuclear weapons at "secret" sites.

As already expected, Netanyahu used a map and photographs of a building that he claimed was a "secret atomic weapons warehouse" in the Iranian capital, Tehran, to justify his false accusations during his speech on Thursday at the 73rd annual session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

"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."

Netanyahu was referring to his earlier dubious show against Iran, during which he went live on television and put on display what he called records from a secret warehouse in Tehran.

The claims came while Iran has drawn the praise of the world community for remaining fully committed to its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers despite Washington's much-criticized withdrawal from the international document.

Iran's compliance with the deal has been verified in numerous reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency -- the UN's nuclear watchdog, which uses strict mechanisms to monitor the technical aspect of the agreement's implementation.

During his anti-Iran rant, Netanyahu further slammed the European Union for firmly supporting the nuclear accord after Washington -- influenced by intense Israeli lobbying -- scrapped the international document.

"While the United States is confronting Iran with new sanctions, Europe and others are appeasing Iran by trying to help it bypass those new sanctions," Netanyahu said, referring to EU efforts to compensate for Washington's absence and keep Iran in the deal.

Netanyahu's new vaudeville at the UN was nothing new. Observers say the Israeli premier indulges in theatrics as a method to influence public opinion, without providing any proof to support his claims.

During his dramatic performance in early May -- which was widely ridiculed inside Iran and abroad -- Netanyahu claimed agents with Israel's Mossad spy agency had managed to break into the warehouse in an overnight operation and bring back “half a ton of the material” consisting of 55,000 pages and another 55,000 files on 183 CDs.

Back then, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called the Israeli premier "the boy who can't stop crying wolf is at it again," recalling a similar anti-Iran speech by Netanyahu at the UN General Assembly in 2012, during which he used a cartoon bomb in an attempt to portray the Islamic Republic as a threat.

Except in the US, Netanyahu's claims, however, have fallen on deaf ears, with the European Union's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, saying the presentation failed to question Iran's compliance with the nuclear agreement.

Emboldened the by the uncritical support of the US under President Donald Trump, Netanyahu even threatened Iran with a nuclear attack during a speech at the regime's secretive Dimona nuclear weapons facility.

In response, Tehran wrote to the United Nations, calling on the world body to condemn Israel for the nuclear attack threat and bring the regime’s atomic weapons program under its supervision.

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