Netanyahu uses fragment of destroyed drone to taunt Iranian FM
18 February, 2017
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used a piece of what he said was fragment of an Iranian drone downed by the Israeli military to taunt Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
Netanyahu used the prop while addressing a gathering at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday.
“Mr. Zarif, you recognize this?” he asked while holding what looked like a piece of an aircraft wing. “You should, it’s yours. You can take back with you a message to the tyrants of Tehran: do not test Israel’s resolve.”
The Israeli leader used the platform of the conference in Germany to attack Iran, describing it as the world’s greatest threat.
Earlier on February 10, Israel reported destroying an Iranian drone after it crossed into Israeli airspace from Syria. In retaliation, the Jewish state launched an air raid on a Syrian military facility, from which it said the drone was piloted.
The Israeli Air Force lost an F-16 to Syrian anti-aircraft fire during the raid, and responded with what Israel described as the biggest air operation against Syria in decades.
Netanyahu famously used a cartoon drawing of a bomb, complete with a burning fuse, in 2012 in an address to the UN General Assembly. The prop was meant to illustrate what he called the imminent acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran and a red line that Israel was drawing for Tehran – which was also depicted in the picture.
Another leader made use of a prop at this year’s conference in Munich – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko brought with him a flag of the European Union, which he claimed he received from Ukrainian soldiers involved in a military crackdown on rebels in the east. The flag was meant to demonstrate Ukraine’s continued (and apparently unreciprocated) desire to become part of the EU.
Iran’s foreign minister ridiculed a security conference speech by Netanyahu, who used a part of a drone to make a point. He lashed out at Israel’s “aggression to neighbors” and mentioned the country’s "crumbling invincibility."
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif spoke at the Munich Security Conference a few hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu displayed what he said was a piece of an Iranian drone shot down last week by Israeli forces. The Iranian official dismissed the use of the prop as a “cartoonish circus” that was meant “to blame others for its own strategic blunders, or maybe to evade the domestic crisis they’re facing.”
He added that Israel was avoiding discussion of its own hostile and destructive policies in the Middle East.
“Israel uses aggression as a policy against its neighbors,” Zarif said, citing the regular air incursions into Syria and Lebanon. “The entire speech [by Netanyahu] was trying to evade the issue.”
Zarif also said that the loss of a fighter jet by Israel during the latest flare-up on the Syrian border tarnished the image of invincibility the Israeli military has.
Earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu called Iran the biggest threat in the world, and taunted Zarif while holding the aircraft fragment.