Roger L. Simon

Fifty Shades of Iran Negotiations


How do we really explain the peculiar Iran nuclear negotiations that seem to have been going on for the better part of the last decade?  What is holding these people together?  It couldn’t be more obvious the whole thing is a charade orchestrated by the Iranians with the cooperation of Obama.  It could have been short-circuited by the inevitable — simply shipping a few nukes to Tehran on a spare aircraft carrier and kissing Israel and maybe half of Lebanon goodbye. But both sides insist on playing this game, talking the talk until our heads spin.

So what’s going on here?  Then I remembered this documentary I’d seen — In the Bazaar of Sexes — about temporary marriage in Iran.  From the website:

It is said that Muhammad once advised his followers to enter into temporary marriages while travelling. According to tradition, the Prophet approved of such short-term alliances under certain circumstances, such as during wartime or while on pilgrimage. In Arabic, this practice of temporary marriage is called mut’a (pleasure); in Farsi it is known as sighe.


For every temporary marriage, the man has to pay a pre-determined sum to his short-term wife. The duration of a sighe is set out in the marriage contract. From just a few hours to several years; anything is possible. There is only one restriction: after each sighe, a woman must wait two menstrual periods before marrying again.

An aged mullah in the film finds this rule sensible: “If a woman is constantly getting married, then what is the difference from prostitution?”

Good question.  Nevertheless, now we know.  John Kerry and Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif have been engaged in a temporary marriage. Well, they say Zarif is charming.  And yes, there are problems.  We know what Iran does to homosexuals.  It’s a lot worse than Indiana, I can assure you.  Nevertheless, Kerry and Zarif seem to have been a happy couple — for a while anyway.  And this is 2015, the year kink came out of the closet with the film version of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Which explains a lot — including why Kerry and the Americans have made concession after concession since the negotiations began (also why Obama’s adviser worked for the Iranian regime).  What began with the U.S. demanding absolutely no enrichment of uranium has ended with our negotiating team allowing Iran to keep the fortified underground heavy water reactor at Fordow.  Talk about capitulation.  Not even the Marquis de Sade could have asked for as much.

But we’ve done it.  The U.S. has been locked in an S&M game with the Islamic Republic of Iran, always on the masochistic side.  It’s as if Kerry were on his knees the entire time, screaming “Punish me!  Punish me!”  Unfortunately, the ones who are really being punished are the rest of us who didn’t want to play, who didn’t want to engage in sexual relations with that man or woman.  In fact, we didn’t want to engage with them in this kind of absurd negotiation in the first place that will end in something far worse than just another bad movie like Fifty Shades of Whatever.

Writing today on behalf of the rest of us, the great Thomas Sowell put it succinctly:

Clearing the way for Iran to get nuclear bombs may — probably will — be the most catastrophic decision in human history. And it can certainly change human history, irrevocably, for the worse.

Against that grim background, it is almost incomprehensible how some people can be preoccupied with the question whether having Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu address Congress, warning against the proposed agreement, without the prior approval of President Obama, was a breach of protocol.

Against the background of the Obama administration’s negotiating what can turn out to be the most catastrophic international agreement in the nation’s history, to complain about protocol is to put questions of etiquette above questions of annihilation.

Now that agreement is the real S&M — only civilization is the masochist.

(Artwork created using multiple elements.)