By SETH J. FRANTZMAN
The latest threat is Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the US President the Hassan Rouhani’s “political clout would be heavily damaged if negotiations failed.” This is perfectly timed to play on Western views of the Iranian “enigma” and the “eastern mentality” and pet the orientalist emotions of the negotiators, who anyway kiss up to and beam whenever they meet with Zarif. The whole negotiations have been a scam, but this one takes the cake. Here’s why:
This is one of the most brilliant scams. Iran plays the “if you don’t negotiate and give us what we want, we will become more extreme” which feeds directly into the feedback loop of Western self-critique and blame. The Iranians are so smart, they understand their adversaries better than their adversaries understand themselves. They know the nature of the West is the predilection towards not only self blame but also towards self-centered superiority complexes, because the West thinks that it controls the world so its fake self-blame is indicative of its own view that only it can “fix” things.
SO THE Iranian negotiators know that in order to get the West to give a little bit more on an “agreement” that already gave Iran everything, they pull out the “we are wild extremists and irrational and if you don’t give us what we want then our ‘moderate’ leader might be disgraced at home, so you must give him something to show for being moderate.”
It is such genius. And the West always interprets regimes that way. “Oh, we must help them save face” and “he needs to show his people he brought themselves.” Ever notice that the Iranians never want to give in in order to “let the EU show their people they got something” and because of fear that “if we don’t give into Obama the Americans might become extreme” and “if we don’t meet the American demands they will become irrational and disillusioned and feel shame and not have pride and we need to help them feel pride.” Hmmmmm….no. Only Iranians have to “save face” and need to have militarist extremist displays of power to “make the people happy.”
How about treating Iran like an adult; calling its stupid bluff and saying, “no”, we don’t need you to save face, we don’t care about your need for propaganda, you are an adult, you can’t threaten us, we don’t care if you get rid of Rouhani, he doesn’t work for us, get rid of him if you want. We don’t “need” him. Stop thinking of Iranians as “wily easterners”…they are equals…hold them to an equal standard.