[ by Charles Cameron — Iranian diplo communiqué on Twitter uses Vatican imagery, huh? ]
Here’s Seyed Abbas Araghchi‘s tweet announcing the conclusion of the first series of negotiations with Iran:
???? ?? ??? ??? ????. ??? ???? ?? ??????? !
— Seyed Abbas Araghchi (@araghchi) November 24, 2013
Here’s the tail end of the Guardian article, Iran seals nuclear deal with west in return for sanctions relief, in which that tweet is translated:
The first announcement that a deal had been reached, by Ashton’s spokesman Michael Mann, and the confirmation by Zarif, were both made on Twitter – a first for a major global accord.
“Day five, 3am, it’s white smoke,” tweeted the deputy Iranian foreign minister, Seyyed Abbas Araghchi, referring to the terminology used in Vatican for the announcement of a new pope.
Julian West, dear friend and one-time Telegraph war correspondent covering Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka, quoted those two paras with approval, and commented:
Not just a first on Twitter, I’d say the first time an Islamic state has used a papal metaphor, thereby confirming my first impressions while reporting there early 2000s. These aren’t a bunch of woolly mullahs.
Woolly mullahs, Julian? I don’t know — but I too like the reference to white smoke and papal elections.
For those who don’t like the deal — me, I don’t feel well-enough informed to want to comment — here’s Omer Bar-Lev‘s view, as presented in a Times of Israel piece titled Labor MK: Compared to strike, deal is ‘far superior’:
Considering the achievements such as the dismantling of [Iran’s] stockpile of uranium enriched to 20 percent, reducing the number of centrifuges, halting construction of the heavy water facility [in Arak], all the while the sanctions of Iranian oil and banking industries continue — compared to the alternative of a military strike at this point — it is clear that the agreement reached is far superior…
John Schindler‘s tweeted comment:
Bar-Lev is no softie, he’s the former CO of Sayeret MATKAL, the IDF’s top SOF unit.
and ah, yes, his next tweet:
I think it’s too soon to tell; I have no faith in Tehran.
I’ll buy “too early to tell” — curious, hopeful, wary, that’s me.