Netanyahu Draws the Red Line on a Cartoon Bomb

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The most anticipated address at the United Nations today is the speech by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is expected to issue an unusually specific ultimatum to Iran regarding its nuclear program. After failing to cajole President Obama into issuing a "red line" threat to Iran, Netanyahu is expected to outline Israel's position in greater detail than before, while refraining from directly contradicting Obama's remarks on Tuesday. We've posted the livestream below and will update post as the speech begins.

Update: 2:12 p.m.: BuzzFeeds has the video of Netanyahu's red marker in action:

Update: 2:12 p.m.: The Atlantic's Jeff Goldberg is not a big fan of the aesthetics of Netanyahu's chart:

Still, others thought the cartoon bomb really hit the message home:

 Update: 2:05 p.m.: Red lines help keep peace, Netanyahu says. It worked during the Cuban Missile Crisis and it worked for NATO. "A red line must be drawn first and foremost in one vital part of their program: On Iran's efforts to enrich uranium," he says. "Any bomb consists of explosive material and a mechanism to ignite it ... For Iran... amassing enough enriched uranium is far more difficult than producing the nuclear fuse. For a country like Iran it takes many, many years... Thousands of centrifuges ... How much enriched uranium do you need for a bomb and how close is Iran to getting it? Let me show you." Netanyahu proceeds to produce the above chart. Taking out his marker, Netanyahu marked a line in front of the "final stage" of uranium enrichment, noting that Iran must be stopped "before" it reaches 90 percent enrichment—a goal he will be achieved by "next spring, at most, by next summer." 

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Update: 1:58 p.m.: "The hour is getting late. Very late.  The Iranian nuclear calendar doesn't take a timeout for anyone or anything," says Netanyahu. 

Update: 1:50 p.m.: The "medieval forces of radical Islam... want to extinguish freedom ... I'm sure of one thing. Ultimately, they will fail," says Netanyahu.,  

Update: 1:40 p.m.: Netanyahu tackles the history of Israel's existence: 

Update: 1:40 p.m.: Netanyahu takes the stage with a smile. "It's good to see all of you."

Update: 1:28 p.m.: Abbas's speech concluded at 1:27 p.m. His toughest blow, as the AP notes, related to the building of settlements in east Jerusalem by Israelis, which he called "a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Palestinian people via the demolition of their homes." Netanyahu is expected to speak at any time now. 

Update: 1:22 p.m.: "We are not trying to de-legitimize them. They are trying to de-legitimize us," says Abbas. 

Update: 1:10 p.m.: Ahead of Netanyahu's address, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gave a stern condemnation of the Israeli government and Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory. He also accused Israeli political leaders of inciting religious conflict, which he rejects. He said the only conclusion one can draw is that Israel rejects any two-state solution, a position that is weakening the Palestinian Authority. To that, we've collected a handful of tweets:


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.