US diplomatic triumph in the Middle East

Iran cheers, Israel cringes, and the rest of us, those without an immediate stake in the matter, applaud Barack Obama and John Kerry for striking the deal of the century. Geneva has put Munich to shame.

The Geneva treaty makes a long-awaited step towards securing eternal peace not only in the Middle East but also in the rest of the world. After 14 centuries of conflict it appears that Islam and Christendom (as it used to be) have finally buried their hatchet.

Sorry to be using clichés, but I’m too overcome with emotion to look for less hackneyed phrases. In addition to joy and jubilation I feel a great deal of pride.

For I count myself fortunate in having been granted access to the actual text of the treaty, rather than the watered-down version released to the media. What is pleasing to see is that the whole world-saving process was free of ideological rancour, one way or the other.

Instead the text is drafted in a business-like manner, akin to parents specifying exactly how many brownie points children will receive for promising not to be naughty again and refraining from torturing that poor cat. The agreement has an eye-pleasing binary symmetry of Good Deed/Payment.

But judge for yourself. Here are selected excerpts from the text, as vouchsafed to me personally by a source that, in the good tradition of journalism, must remain unnamed (I’ll give you the faintest of clues though: his middle name is Hussein).

DEED: Iran promises not to enrich any more uranium to weapon-grade quality this month. PAYMENT: $1 billion.

DEED: Iran crosses her heart (in a manner of speaking) and promises to die, and please don’t stick a drone in her eye, swearing not to make too many nuclear warheads out of the uranium she has already enriched to weapon-grade quality. PAYMENT: $1 billion.

DEED: Iranian officials undertake not to make any more facetious suggestions that the Saudi national anthem should be called On the Sunni Side of the Street. PAYMENT: $1 billion.

DEED: Iran promises not to attach any nuclear warheads to her rockets for at least two (2) months. PAYMENT: $1 billion.

DEED: After this, Iran swears on Mohammed’s memory not to fire aforementioned rockets at any country other than Israel, and preferably not even at her unless the urge to do so becomes irresistible. PAYMENT: $1 billion.

DEED: Iran undertakes not to publish a cookery book titled Eating Shi’ite or, if she does so anyway, not to distribute it in Anglophone countries. PAYMENT: $1 billion.

DEED: Iran promises not to support Hezbollah, at least not so that the whole bloody world knows about it. PAYMENT: $1 billion.

DEED: Iran shall withdraw all, or at least most, copies of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, especially in the English translation, from both bookshops in the south-western part of Tehran. PAYMENT: $1 billion.

DEED: Iran shall refrain from blowing up any public transport in any Western capital before or during Christmas. PAYMENT: $1 billion, and Dave, you can bloody well chip in on this one.

DEED: Iran undertakes not to enter President Hassan Rouhani into the GQ Best-Dressed contest this year, leaving the field clear for Dame Edna. PAYMENT: $1 billion.

DEED: If Iran must launch a nuclear missile at Tel Aviv, and let the world know that the US Administration and President Obama personally are unequivocally opposed to any such action, Iran shall refrain from doing so on Barack’s watch. PAYMENT: $1 billion.

DEED: Even though John Kerry is half-Jewish, Iran promises not to call him ‘Jewboy’ ever again, and certainly not in any diplomatic situation. PAYMENT: $1 billion.

DEED: Iran shall scale down her uranium-enrichment activities, discontinuing them altogether when she has produced enough nuclear warheads for her purposes. PAYMENT: $1 billion.

DEED: Iran shall not support the ‘good guys’ (however defined) in Syria after they have won a decisive victory, and not in any demonstrative fashion until then. PAYMENT: $1 billion.

DEED: Iran undertakes not to use the billions earned so far to buy any nuclear warheads from the Russians or the Chinese, especially if she becomes capable of manufacturing her own. PAYMENT: $1 billion.

I’ve only highlighted the most salient points of this historic agreement that undoubtedly makes the world a safer place, and Iran a richer country.

I hope you’ll join me in extending heartiest congratulations to Barack ‘Just-Call-Me-Hussein’ Obama and John ‘No-Towelhead-Calls-Me-Jewboy-And-Gets-Away-With-it’ Kerry for this triumph of diplomacy. If Metternich, Talleyrand and Neville Chamberlain were alive, they’d be doffing their hats.

However, I’d cancel that Eilat holiday if I were you, Red Sea or no Red Sea. Just to be on the safe side.




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