Didn’t Force Iran to Make a Deal”, Parsi very reasonably suggested that although it totally looks like it, it was not in fact the result of US sanctions that has surprisingly brought Iran to the bargaining table. Even though everyone on both sides pretty much thinks it did.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like sanctions. I think they are a blunt, crude, and cruelly ineffective way to tell another country you beg to differ. Plus a lot of good kindhearted businessmen suffer needlessly. They worked hard for those price-fixing ordinary people exploiting monopolies!
I always like reading Parsi’s articles. They are always full of funny facts, are generally really well argued, and easy to completely disagree with. Which if you don’t have a PhD like I don’t, tends to make you feel smart. For a while, at least.
Parsi suggested that not only did the US sanctions have NO effect in convincing Iran to reconsider its anti-US, never gonna negotiate with ’em stance, but that the Sanctions also had nothing to do with Rouhani winning his lottery– I mean election.
This may be the one and only time that I find myself in complete agreement with Trita! My head is spinning!
Firstly the election. If you could read Farsi, and knew which version of the Iranian Constitution to read (1979? 1989? 1903?), you would know that the “Iranian election”, actually isn’t one. Any exercise conducted by the Interior Ministry which incidentally and conveniently also runs the Secret Police, that counts the votes and then reports the results, is a far far far “thing” from an election.
Never mind that the “Candidates” carefully chosen by Caesar, and then sent to the Coliseum for the Romans to tell Caesar which direction Caesar should point his thumb, well, let’s admit it, an Iranian election renders unto Caesar what is pretty much Caesar’s.
By Caesar, of course I mean King Khamenei I. Or by now, maybe he is Khamenei the Grape. Certainly he is the most Holy Shi(i)t(e) I know.
Although there are numerous Farsi language examples on video and in print, clearly stating so, Trita seems to suggest that from the English language sources he chooses to use at least, no examples of Rouhani suggesting the “campaign” promises to get rid of the sanctions were used to win “votes” in the “election”. (Trita, FYI the Farsi word for Sanctions is “Tahreem”, look it up, you’ll find a thousand references to it exactly during the election you think, was one).
But in spite of my usual automatic resistance to it, I have to agree with Trita completely. The sanctions per se indeed had nothing to do with the results of the election. Because the election wasn’t a real proper one, and whatever it was, it was certainly pre-determined. Again, at Khamenei’s pleasure. An unarguably unelected tyrant. (Note: I wanted to add “ugly” to complete the triple alliteration just now, but thought it might be better not to get personal.)
To digress further, in order to define what an election is: a real proper election is one in which the “wisdom of the crowd” chooses freely from among the best and wisest choices a society freely serves up, in order to find a leader who under rules and regulations, manages the affairs of the citizenry to the best of his ability. Do his job well, and the usual reward is another go at it. Wash, Rinse, Repeat.
The Iranian election is more along the lines of; Monkey Say, Monkey See, and then the Monkeys endorse that decision out of fear of becoming ex-Monkeys. There are the obvious Sheep and Shepherd metaphors one can make too, but this is after all a children’s program.
Again, I have to once again throw up a bit in my mouth, swallow, and completely agree with Parsi, who rejects the US suggestion that Sanctions affected the Iranian election results, and helped bring Rouhani a self and Supreme Leader advertised moderate, and damn good actor to the world stage. Sanctions certainly did not do that. Khamenei did.
And Iranians certainly agree with Khamenei. Especially when he tells them to. No surprise then, that the numerous polls that Parsi suggests were not biased by a little bit of this intimidation of the populace, and little bit of that total domination of every part of Iranian life, not surprisingly reported that 96% of Iranians would gladly accept sanctions in order to keep developing nuclear technology “for peaceful purposes”. Shoot, I’d believe that an Iranian government conducted poll would say 98% of Iranians would say, “Hell, give us more sanctions, we eat ’em for breakfast! With torshi they’re positively delish!”
I haven’t seen numbers so convincing since Saddam’s overwhelming election turnout!
What I would add to Trita’s Terrorific Treatise however (OK that one was unavoidable!), is that above all, you cannot and should not trust any people under oppression. Ever. Especially when their oppressors are smiling this much.
Which brings us to the not so delicate, Mr. Zarif.
So disappointed was Mr. Zarif with the US, and the entire proposition of American life in general, that after attending a really really really expensive and ultra toney College Prep School, and then attending San Francisco State, he had to make sure he really hated the US by getting a second degree from the University of Denver.
And apparently Mr. Zarif’s US born children suffer from some sort of mysterious allergic reaction to golab or esfand fumes or something, because not one of them is able to either study or live in Iran, and the ONLY place they can apparently breathe heyvooni– I mean heyvoonaki, is in the US. Which did I mention, Mr. Zarif most clearly despises? I mean how do you get this job if you didn’t? Surely his hiring manager had to know. No?
You have no choice to be nut-shottedly impressed with someone that can at once not only effectively represent the “other side”, but do it while really being on your side. What is certain is that no one is exactly sure whose side Mr. Zarif is on. Except of course Mr. Zarif. Which makes him of course, entirely trustworthy. I guess. Because he smiles a lot.
This of course, all goes without saying. Because if you were to say it, you would then have to also think of saying but never actually say, words like “Hypocrite” and “Self Serving Sell Out”. But thankfully, because Mr. Zarif is the exemplification of character and honesty and sincerity, because he damn well went into the belly of the US beast and had the courage to leave it and his children behind, thankfully, we don’t have to say that. Because the Americans, like him. And that’s what’s important. I know you think Iranian freedom is important, but not as important as being liked by the Americans now. I mean, come on, grow up!
Finally, I have to slap my own face and call myself “Sally”, and again agree with Trita, that it was not the US sanctions that brought Iran to the table, but the 19,000 centrifuges humming in unison like a seeneh-zani procession in Qommmmmm, that brought the US to the sofreh, that Iran has carefully cheed. And like Persian food always does, Americans are always easily impressed by nothing more exotic than Ghormeh Sabzi. And how fluffy our rice is.
I am ultimately afraid however.
I am afraid for all those millions of poor cancer ridden Iranian children. It must be some sort of pollution or poison left over from the Iran-Iraq war or something. You know what I’m talking about don’t you?
I’m talking about the huge cancer epidemic that must out of control in Iran now, that 19,000 centrifuges churning away day in day out for years and years, are needed to produce all those cancer radiation isotopes that will most certainly be used to cure all that Iranian cancer. Right?
And thank god Iran is developing all this nuclear technology for cancer victims! Although I haven’t seen any, I am sure that the millions of poor Iranian children suffering from this cruel haramzadeh, will finally be cured by the glorious Islamic-Iranian doctors combined with heroic Islamic-Iranian cancer researchers, working together to get these nuclear warhea– I mean isotopes where they can do the most dama– Dehhh! I mean– good.
Keep writing Trita, keep writing. Before your insights, we Iranians were standing at the edge of a tall cliff. But thanks to your imaginative rearrangement you’ve allowed us all to take one giant step forward.