Midway through his speech, Netanyahu joked that despite his numerous state visits to a succession of countries in a bid to forge partnerships around the world, Antarctica had not yet been on his flight itinerary.
“But one day I want to go there too because I’ve heard that penguins are also enthusiastic supporters of Israel,” Netanyahu said, evoking laughter in the chamber. “You laugh, but penguins have no difficulty recognizing that some things are black and white, are right and wrong.”
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani responded to the jocular comments, saying: “Even penguins in the south pole can’t bear the shame of support for the Israeli entity which murders children.”
On social media too, some Iranians demonstrated contempt for the Israeli prime minister’s warning against a nuclear-armed Iran, despite his overtures of friendship expressed in Persian to the Iranian population, by accompanying their posts with the hashtag #ShutupNetanyahu.
Mockery of the prime minister continued to flood the internet in Iran, with pictures being disseminated showing penguins standing in a row willingly falling into the mouth of a killer whale in preference to remaining in the Antarctica as Netanyahu visits the frozen expanse.
In a similar vein, a picture shows a dishevelled and depressed-looking penguin with the caption "F**k it. I'm going to get drunk."
Shamkhani also commented on the speech delivered by US President Donald Trump who blasted the Iranian nuclear deal as an “embarrassment.”
“The stance of the American president on the issue of Iran stems from a lack of understanding of international agreements and the legal foundations upon which they rest,” he said.
“The American president has not yet left the climate of elections in the US and uses aggressive terms against his opponents. His assistants must remind him that his behavior for propaganda or show doesn’t affect the will of the states,” Shamkhani added.
“The American behavior on the nuclear agreement is shameful … and emphasizes the failure of this country to comply with rules of diplomacy,” scathed Shamkhani. “The US is besmirching the reputation of international organizations in front of the world.”