WASHINGTON—After he had pored over the results of a recent reconnaissance mission, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed growing concerns Wednesday over Iran’s nuclear program, citing a photograph that plainly revealed a poster of the periodic table hanging in a Tehran high school. “One of our surveillance drones has infiltrated a training facility in the Islamic Republic and found what appears to be a complete and accurate chart of the chemical elements, including all the ones used in the production of nuclear arms,” said Pompeo during a press conference in which he declared that Iran had shown “a flagrant disrespect for international law” by obtaining a visual representation of the elements and their respective atomic numbers, atomic weights, and commonly accepted abbreviations. “Where did they get this? We have reason to believe every atom may be on here, and how long does it take to get from atoms to an atom bomb? These Iranians are operating in a laboratory stocked with test tubes, protective goggles, Bunsen burners, you name it. What’s more, our intelligence indicates they are experimenting with these chemicals under the guidance of a chemistry expert and writing down their observations. For the sake of global security, we must assume these young people are busy creating weapons-grade uranium—an element, by the way, that is included right there in plain sight on this chart.” At press time, Pompeo had called for a full-scale preemptive assault on the training facility after learning the building contained a separate room in which Iranian youths were allegedly preparing for combat by doing pushups, climbing ropes, and running relay races.
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