The Onion: Pompeo warns Iran stockpiling tubes to build ventilator

April 17, 2020 - 15:30

TEHRAN — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has reportedly warned that he strongly suspected Iran of stockpiling tubes to build a ventilator, while declaring that the coronavirus pandemic should not affect America’s hardline stance against the Islamic Republic.

Of course, it was The Onion – a satirical news website – that put those words into Pompeo’s mouth in an article published on Tuesday. But the resemblance of the words to the “concerns” raised over Iran’s nuclear program is uncanny.

The Onion continues to quote Pomepo, an unabashed Iran hawk, as saying, “Iran has repeatedly ignored our messages to refrain from building up a medical arsenal, and new intelligence shows that the regime could have a fully functional ventilator up and running in as little as a few weeks.”

He, according to The Onion, added that satellite images taken by U.S. spy planes appeared to show Iranian scientists assembling a cache of medical-grade valves.

“There are also credible reports that Iran has acquired high-grade extension cords, and the regime refuses to deny that these cables could be used to power ventilators. This is clearly an effort to undermine American influence in the region, and one that could save thousands of Iranian lives.”

“If we fail to act now, Iran will have a fully operational ventilator, which will not only strengthen their medical capacity but could produce a domino effect where they funnel tubes, valves, and knobs to other U.S. adversaries. A ventilator-capable Iran portends a dangerous new era for the world, which is why I call on President Trump to increase sanctions, and, if necessary, explore military action.” 

According to the article, Pompeo added that the U.S. would only be willing to negotiate if Iranian officials turned over their entire supply of tubes to the UN.

The satire didn’t end with the article itself. On Twitter, users piled on, posting memes and comments to further highlight the similarity between the story and the hype surrounding Iran’s nuclear program.

“Likely will be reported as real news on FOX,” Twitter user @BuffyWebster10 replied to the article.

“Tubes are dual-purpose technology: they can be used in the washrooms of uranium enrichment centers,” reacted another user, @ajdemarang.

@lgfocus said, “The Onion has a hard time keeping up with the comedy that is almost anything that comes out of the mouths of USA government officials and its sycophant media.  But this is a good one.”

Another user, @GelOrangeVEVO, voiced similar sentiments: “i thought this was real until i saw who posted. the theory that the onion writers write for reality grows more credible each day.”

“This wouldn't be an issue if we still had the tubular deal,” wrote @DradeeusKedi, mocking the U.S. Democrats, who have strongly criticized the Trump administration for walking away from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was clinched under former President Barack Obama.


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