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Iran stopped Ronaldo's goal, now topple the government, Netanyahu tells Iranian protesters

The Israeli official used a football in the video to score some points [YouTube]

Date of publication: 1 July, 2018

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In his new unofficial role as a football pundit, Israel's prime minister attempted to pull on the heart strings of the Iranian people, in new efforts for regime change.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has become notorious for his use of props to rally up support for the Israeli state on the international stage, has put on the hat of a football pundit in his latest efforts to encourage Iranian protesters to topple their government, during the global 2018 World Cup fever.

In an official video posted online, Netanyahu attempts to engage protesters in Iran demonstrating water scarcity by relaying the Islamic Republic’s recent efforts to achieve the “impossible” World Cup draw with Portugal, which also saw Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand save a penalty from the football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

“Can you imagine how hard it is to stop Ronaldo from scoring a goal,” Netanyahu says after catching a ball in the somewhat cheesy video titled 'Could you stop Ronaldo from scoring a goal?!’

“I used to play soccer myself and let me tell you, it’s almost impossible but the Iranian team just did the impossible” he adds, as the video cuts to a shot of the Israeli official frantically attempting kick ups in a scene that quite frankly should never be seen by a Ronaldo fan.

“To the Iranian people I say: You showed courage on the playing field, and today you showed the same courage in the streets of Iran.

“Iran has many problems - air pollution, water scarcity, billions wasted on terror,” he notes. “Can you imagine what would happen if the Iranian government, instead of wasting your money in Syria, in Yemen, and in unnecessary wars in the Middle East, would start investing it in solving these problems in Iran?”

The Israeli official, who has faced a series of police questioning in a number of sweeping corruption investigations in Israel, then goes on to express his alleged love and support of the Iranian people, suggesting he “would never stop advocating for peace”. 

“One day I hope to watch Iran’s soccer team go head to head in a free Tehran. One that day, we’ll all be winners,” the Israeli official concludes.

The video, which was released last week, came amid widespread protests in Iran which authorities have blamed on the US and its allies.

In June, Iran responded to an offer from Israel's prime minister to help alleviate a water crisis facing Tehran, calling the leader a "deceitful showman".

"It is not the first time that he makes such remarks. He had better stop the massacre of the Palestinian people and crimes which are committed every day," Bahram Qassemi said, referring to the Israeli killing of over 120 Palestinians since protests broke out along the Gaza border on March 30.

"The Iranian people and government are capable enough to resolve their problems, they do not need such magic tricks.”

Qassemi added that Netanyahu was a "deceitful showman", whose comments should not be taken seriously.

Netanyahu's offer has also been panned on social media with Twitter users criticising Israel for failing to prevent a water crisis in the besieged Gaza Strip, where up to 95 percent of water is unfit for human consumption.

A decade-long Israeli blockade of the Palestinian enclave has denied its two-million strong population of access to fresh water and material to build water facilities.

Iran has long been struggling with severe droughts that threaten food security in the Islamic Republic.

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