- (Photo: Reuters/Lucas Jackson)
In his speech at the United Nations General Assembly Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed a unique prop in his talk about Iran's nuclear program that has received mixed reviews: a chart featuring a drawing of a bomb.
Netanyahu used his chart to describe the threat of a nuclear Iran, a country which has previously threatened to fire nuclear missiles at Israel and questioned its Middle East neighbor's existence.
Using the chart, Netanyahu explained that Iran is currently in its second stage of nuclear weapon creation. When that stage is complete, Iran will have completed 90 percent of the processes required to have enough enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon.
The final stage, or the final 10 percent, which was outlined in red with a magic marker, is where Netanyahu said the nuclear production needs to stop.
"The hour is getting late. Very late," the sober prime minister told those in attendance.
While Netanyahu's remarks were applauded by member nations at the U.N., his attempt to communicate the serious message of a nuclear Iran received mixed reviews on the Internet.
"Netanyahu's bomb cartoon is the Middle East equivalent to Clint Eastwood's chair," tweeted Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, referencing actor Clint Eastwood's recent shtick at the Republican National Convention where he spoke to an empty chair, meant to represent President Barack Obama.
"This is really happening right now," tweeted P.J. Tobia, a reporter and producer for PBS News Hour, adding a picture of Netanyahu holding the chart.
While some simply mocked Netanyahu's quirky choice in speech etiquette, others supported his use of the prop.
"Bibi's use of that chart was one of the most effective, gripping uses of a chart I've ever seen. Is the world listening??" tweeted Ari Fleischer, former White House press secretary for George W. Bush.
Others argued that although it was silly, it was effective.
"Every. Single. Article is going to be about Netanyahu 'drawing' a red line on Iran 'bomb.' Message managed, no?" tweeted Omri Ceren, a political blogger.
Netanyahu concluded his Sept. 27 speech to the United Nations General Assembly by saying: "At this late hour, there is only one way to peacefully prevent Iran from getting atomic bombs and that's by placing a clear red line on Iran's nuclear weapons program."
"Red lines don't lead to war; red lines prevent war," the Israeli prime minister added.