Looser Guccifer 2.O has just released (via NSA files) a recent meeting between the two leaders in a dank underground club in New York.
These leaders must pose as very tough for their people, who look to them to be unflinching and very cool--versus a craven backing away and looking stupid.
Mr. Trump is in especially difficult positions, analysts say.
He has baited Mr. Khamenei with ripping up the JCPOA agreement, pushing tough sanctions, and waving the military around as at “heightened defense.”
He has then dangled "deal" with the peculiar requirement that Mr. Khamenei call him, as though somehow obligated.
He has evidently expected Mr. Khamenei to pick up the phone and say, “Hey, Donald, old bud. I think it’s time we talked, don’t you?”
This has not happened, as the Iranians insist there is nothing to talk about with a pistol six inches away pointed at your forehead.
To the discussion:
“You know, I mean, by now, my method is talk and look tough, you know? Say a lot of nasty stuff, then wrap you into my loving arms, brother.”
“Brother? What kind of brother thinks he can knuckle you down to get what he wants? And mainly for his personal pride and glory.”
“Ah, I’d better think that over. Could you repeat that?”
“Nobody negotiates with a gun held to his head! That is called abject surrender! Nobody negotiates with just one party directing what’s happening and saying--or else.
“Well, I don’t know about this. In my book The Art of the Deal—by the way, did you read it? You didn’t—okay, then. It’s all about shoving people around, then making them feel good. As well as myself.”
“The US has been shoving Iran around since 1953. And you know what? Iranian people are sick of it. So we’re looking for some peace proposals from you, sir.”
“I might be able to lift a sanction or two, or in fact all of them. You know, if you’ll just sign a new JCPOA agreement, re-titled as the NDTA (the New Donald Trump Agreement) we can go from there.”
“And you want our oil exclusively to you, at very good prices.”
“You got it, brother.”
“If you’ll throw in Melania, we might consider it.”