On the eve of imminent war with Iran. It is with great urgency that the Daily Squib is publishing a letter addressed to the Iranian Minister of Foreign affairs from a rather concerned Princeton University Professor.
Steven Strauss is a Lecturer and John L. Weinberg/Goldman Sachs & Co. Visiting Professor at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. He has advised governments on public policy issues in the U.S.A., Europe, the Middle East and Asia. He says he acquired his Phd from Yale and has been cited by a multitude of news organisations including, of course, now — the Daily Squib..
If Trump can be buddies with the leaders of North Korea and Saudi Arabia, peace with Iran is possible
To: Mohammed Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Islamic Republic of Iran
Iran and America are at a crossroads. Down one path are continued tensions, economic isolation for Iran, and a potential war no one wants. Down the other path is the possibility of resuscitating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, AKA the Iran nuclear deal) with a phone call, and a Trump-brand golf course in Iran. I urge you to choose the road with the phone call and the golf course.
President Trump’s State Department issued a list of 12 demands Iran must comply with for a new deal, but don’t take that too seriously. Trump often makes lots of demands – and folds like a cheap Trump-brand suit. Read carefully and you’ll see Trump’s statements already indicate he just wants a version of JCPOA, but with his name on it.
Remember, Trump claimed he was going to fundamentally renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – instead, he made a few cosmetic changes and declared victory. In similar negotiating style, so far North Korea’s genocidal-dictator has gotten public recognition, cancellation of joint South Korea-America war games, and an invitation to the White House. In return, Trump has gotten photo ops with another two-bit kleptocrat, and America has gained nothing – except public humiliation. So, you see, there is ample precedent for what I am proposing. If Iran plays its cards right – we can all get JCPOA back and avoid the possibility of war.
First, have one of your staff call Trump – he’s basically begging for a phone call. Flatter him, butter him up, hint that he can get a Nobel Peace Prize.
Next, invite Trump for a summit in Teheran, Trump can claim President Obama was never invited to Teheran – he will love it. Make clear this is an important meeting where decisions will be made, so ask Trump to bring his “top team” (his children and son-in-law Jared Kushner). Tell him the flunkies on his staff (e.g., Secretary of State Pompeo and National Security Advisor Bolton) should stay in Washington.
When Trump and company arrive, pull out all the stops to make them feel important. Show the Trump family where the Trump Teheran Igolf course could be built. Suggest a location and partners for a Trump tower in Teheran, and name some out-of-the-way village after Trump (look, it worked for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu). Hint that the Iranian people, in gratitude, would like to support Trump’s re-election campaign.
Now, you might be wondering how to do all this ethically and legally under American law. Don’t worry. Have you seen any evidence that Trump, and his family, are concerned about doing things ethically? Regarding legality, ask Trump to bring along his lawyer (AKA Attorney General Barr). The man is a unique legal genius (unique in the sense that many lawyers have no idea where his legal theories come from). In my opinion, Barr will figure out how to do this without legal repercussions.
Besides goodies for the Trump family, promise the biggest U.S. military weapons order in history – tell him it will be bigger than the $110 billion deal America did with Saudi Arabia. And to get the right-wing think tanks on board, mention that when sanctions end, Iran will be very interested in out-bribing (sorry, “replacing”) Saudi Arabia in Washington as a funder of war-mongering punditry. Maybe this time, the punditry can be turned against Saudi Arabia (from what I can tell, several pundits just seem to want a war, without caring who gets bombed).
Getting Trump’s senior advisor (President Putin of Russia) and communications team (Fox News) on board will be important. Reach out to Russia’s President Putin for his support. Seriously, many people believe Trump is Putin’s Puppet – so Russia’s view will be key. Invite Tucker Carlson and some Fox News executives to also join the summit. Point out all the opportunities for Fox to profit from a captive Iranian media market, and emphasize the similar approaches of Iranian leaders and many senior Fox staff: intolerance, a commitment to nepotism, and a lack of interest in facts. You should get along well with the Fox News/Murdoch Media Empire.
Finally, propose a slightly modified JCPOA – maybe call it the Trump Iranian-American Perpetual Peace Treaty. But make sure to structure it as a real treaty requiring Senate approval, so Trump can’t change his mind. This treaty should get easy passage in the Senate. The Democrats supported the original version, and the Republicans will do anything Trump says. Lastly, get the Norwegians on board to promise Trump a Nobel Prize if this treaty gets signed.
Seriously, this could work. For the sake of world peace, give it some thought.