Cold Hard Wonk

No sentiment but politics

See Iran’s Totally Rad Rods

Posted by JJ in Bad Press, By other means. . ., Crossroads of Culture (Wednesday October 4, 2006 at 2:57 pm)

The volley from Ahmadinejad’s Iran has a familiar ring to it. They won’t let UN nuclear inspectors examine Iranian research facilities, but they will let tourists wander through their power plants. After all, no one inspects things as thoroughly as random tourists.

This move will doubtless bring full exposure to such burning problems as whether female scientists must wear burqas at work, whether power plants are wheelchair-accessible, and how much hot dogs cost at the Bushehr facility’s snack bar. And of course, debriefing exercises will probably shed much-needed light on the peaceful use of nuclear arms:

INTEL AGENT: “Were they using nuclear material for weapons development?”

FANNYPACK-PACKING TOURIST: “Well, we didn’t see any missiles or anything. They had some fellas in white coats, but that’s about it.”

STRAW HAT-WEARING TOURIST: “Oh, and they showed us the rods, honey. Remember those rods?”

FPT: “I was getting to that, Bernice. Yeah, there were some rods in this big thing behind glass.”

IA: “This is important, folks, I need to you try to remember carefully. Did the rods or anything around you look enriched?”

FPT: “Well, I wouldn’t say they looked enriched. They did ask us not to use tripods, though.”

SHWT: “They said you could use one, Frank. You were just too cheap to pay for the pass!”

CHILD TOURIST: “I got a hat!”

The world can rest easy — the cream of human investigators are on the case.

Iran’s President has decided that a coordinated PR campaign is a way to garner public support and undermine the authority of those opposing him. In the face of continuing domestic problems, he not only needs to focus on generating external threats (see Chavez, Hugo), but to get help from outside to do it.

The question remains: will his efforts be as effective in achieving popular respect as those of his obvious model?

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