Iran’s satirical reality

When I learned that the German Council on Foreign Relations planned on hosting Mohammad Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic, I even considered for a nano second to accredit myself for this satirical reality. After all, I haven’t witnessed the charming charm policy of the Iranian dictatorship in person. But then I remembered one of my strongest principles: to never be in the same room with Iranian terrorists.

And I also remembered one more important thing: political Berlin is a tiny village. So whatever would happen inside that event it would spread soonest among pundits. And so it did. Apparently, Zarif brought even more smiles to Berlin then folks have enjoyed of him at the Munich Security Conference.  But since shallowness is really not the business of Iran’s regime its Foreign Minister embarked on the bold topic of climate protection as a common ground of many shared interests for the community of nations – never mind that these are dictatorial rulers engaged in the shameful exploitation of Iran’s rich and precious nature. But let’s not keep ourselves too busy with lakes drying up in that country – behold that the larger picture of saving the environment together with its violators offers so many more fields of cooperation, continued dialogue and so much more talks that are strongly needed.

So thank God – or Allah in that case – that Zarif assured the audience in Berlin that the Iranian regime doesn’t pose a threat to anyone and he mentioned also that Iran hasn’t attacked anyone in the past 200 years.  Because between you and I after some years of Ahmadinejad you might still carry concerns about the Iranian regime continuing its radical ideology – I mean prejudices are so hard to overcome and after all this world is filled with false accusations against the Islamic Republic, right? But thankfully those dark days are now gone since the election of pacifist and practicing Buddhist Hassan Rouhani. Can it get any better than this? Sure, it can. Brace yourself for what lies ahead of us as Zarif outlined the leitmotif of mutual interests, extremism that is on the rise and that needs to be fought together, the assurance that the Islamic Republic seeks a stable Persian Gulf, the unnecessary nuclear crisis, the great sign of moderation through Rouhani’s election. So many nice promises. I’m surprised he didn’t promise pizza for everybody. Maybe next time.

Now, let’s get to a really delicious hight of Zarif’s remarks when a question from the audience addressed the regime’s ballistic missiles program and why Iran doesn’t stop this as a sign of gaining trust. What did Zarif respond? Iran was forced to develop these medium – and long-range missiles because the West hasn’t sold this regime warplanes and atomic submarines. Hear that world community? It is all your fault. If you guys had the human decency to sell – or even better deliver for free – this military equipment to a ruthless and inhuman dictatorship soaked in anti – Americanism and anti – Semitism we would all be living in a much nicer world.

Let’s also get to the bigger picture: Why is all of this happening? Why is the Islamic Republic having opportunity after opportunity to present its propaganda? Davos, Munich, Berlin – you name it. It is happening because a policy of isolation has over night been turned into a policy of appeasement. It is happening because with the exception of a few courageous countries nobody gives a dime about Iran’s civil society and how they are deprived of their human rights.

It is happening because there is an audience so desperate and so foolish in wanting to believe that this satirical reality is actually reality.

An audience on both sides of the Atlantic that’ll continue this farce until it’ll blow up dramatically in front of our eyes – and maybe even then nobody will see it.

About the Author
Saba Farzan is a German-Iranian journalist and Executive Director at Foreign Policy Circle, a strategy think tank in Berlin.
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