Shah tête-à-têtes with Ayatollah

Published May 29, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

 José Abeto  Zaide
José Abeto Zaide

By José Abeto Zaide

 

From his safe perch, my deep -throat source George Thomas Clark fantasizes on what might have been and sent his recollection of the chance conversation between two dramatis personae somewhere in the constellation:

***

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, ruminates; “Don’t you wish that I, instead of radical and incompetent theocrats, was still the leader of the great Persian kingdom? I don’t blame the United States, nor am I ungrateful for decades of financial, political, and military backing. I simply stress the obvious that I was and will always be your friend despite your betrayal.”

“The satanic Americans didn’t betray you!” says an unwelcome intruder, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. “They betrayed the Islamic people of Iran by installing and protecting a heathen and spendthrift dedicated only to perpetual power!”

The Shah puts his pen down and calmly raises a point of order: “My actions to maintain domestic tranquility were infinitely less severe than yours. I was civilized. In fact, I gave women the right to vote.”

Khomeini: “Yes, and for that alone you should’ve been flogged!”

Shah: “Perhaps I should thank you – for polishing my image and besmirching yours. I sought not to conquer, unlike you and your successors, who’re bloodying the Middle East and squandering our treasure while financing Hezbollah in Syria and Lebanon, Hamas in Palestine, the Houthis in Yemen, hosting Al Qaeda, and terrorizing the world.”

K: “The Iranian people have already rendered their judgment of you! BTW, my dear Shah, how come the US didn’t compel you to improve your treatment of Iranians?”

S: “Under my enlightened leadership, Iran was but ten or twenty years from living as well as Europe and America. Hardly the case in your sanctions-strangled and medieval state!”

K: “Come on..! Let’s examine contemporary matters, specifically Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s 12-point US sine qua nons: Point 1: We must declare to the IAEA a full account of our nuclear weapons program and permanently and verifiably abandon such work in perpetuity.”

S: “In perpetuity’s a long time. I’d ignore the future requirement.”

K: “Second Point: Iran must stop enrichment and close our heavy water reactor. We’d already done the latter; but we shall certainly continue to enrich at peaceful levels. That’s our sovereign right as signatory to the NPT.”

The Ayatollah continues, “Point 3 (I assume they’re joking): Iran must also provide the IAEA with unqualified access to all sites throughout the entire country. We’ll do that when America allows us to inspect theirs!”

“Have you something to conceal?” Shah asks.

“Has Israel something to conceal?” Khomeini glowers.

S: “Israel has proven, at least at the nuclear level, that it won’t strike unless existentially threatened.”

K: “Before it does, we must destroy the Zionist pseudo state!” Khomeini continues, ignoring the Shah’s editorializing, Point 4: Iran must end its proliferation of ballistic missiles and halt further launching or development of nuclear-capable missiles.”

S: “We don’t need nuclear weapons, only ballistic missiles with conventional warheads.”

K: “Point 5: Iran must release all US citizens and other allies ‘detained on spurious charges. But what will the Americans give in return?”

S: “Do so. That’s a reasonable point… Perhaps, an exchange of prisoners?”

K: “Point 6: Iran end support to Middle East terrorist groups. No deal! The Americans have their allies. We have ours!”

The Ayatollah rattles on, consecutively. “Point 7: Iran must respect the sovereignty of the Iraqi government and permit the disarming, demobilization, and reintegration of Shia militias. Don’t the Americans remember that after they demobilized Saddam Hussein’s troops, our help for Shia militias saved them from ISIS. We still await a ‘Thank You’ card.”

“Point 8: Iran must end its military support for the Houthi militia and work toward a peaceful settlement in Yemen. (While Saudi Arabia slaughters Houthis with US jets and other weapons?!)”

“Point 9: Withdraw all forces under Iranian command throughout the entirety of Syria. That’s absurd! Iranian, Russian, and Syrian forces have bled to defeat ISIS and other terrorists. We’ll stay as long as our allies need us. We must be there to breathe hot air on the Zionists.”

S: “If so, my dear Ayatollah, the Israelis and the Americans will surely breathe hotter air on us.”

K: “Not with impunity! Point 10: Iran must end support for the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and the region.”

S: “You’re going to have to yield some points. Break with the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.”

K: “Impossible! Americans in Afghanistan aid terrorist operations in Iran. The Taliban, erstwhile sworn enemy of Iran and the United States, now fights a giant who plans to stay forever. Point 11: End the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Qods Force’s support for terrorists. If the US is serious about ending support for terrorists, will it tell Israel and Saudi Arabia to stop murdering civilians in Gaza and Yemen?”

Shah stares blankly at Khomeini.

K: “There’s so much more the Americans say we must do. Point 12: Iran must end its threatening behavior against its neighbors, including such bad actors as Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Will you please help me draft our response, my dear Shah?”

The Shah tries to be helpful in a desperate situation: “But of course. How about: The United States must forevermore cease terroristic and genocidal attacks against the people of countries such as North Korea, the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, and…”

Khomeini: “Just a minute! Let me get more paper…”

 

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