Monday, July 07, 2014

When Shevardnadze Met Khomeini

Eduardo Shevardndze's demise today, reminded me of when he met Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989.
Khomeini had written a letter to Gorbachev, warning him of the imminent collapse of the Soviet Union and had called him to embrace Islam instead of Communism.

video

The Soviets with enormous benefits in keeping good relations with the Islamic Republic had decided to maintain a conciliatory and diplomatic response. In fact thousands of Iranian Communists were being executed in the Islamic Republic jails at this time and the Soviet Union was totally indifferent to the slaughter of thousands of young misled Iranians who looked at the USSR as the utopia of the working class masses! 

In this video, Shevardnadze starts with some over the top diplomatic flattery of Khomeini and then states  "your letter contained some in-depth philosophical context; all the soviet officials have read your letter; and without a doubt we agree with many fundamental issues but with some (of the issues) we can disagree"

Khomeini then replies "...but tell him that I wanted to open a bigger space in front of you". The translator however must have though what the hell is the Ayatollah on about and translates differently by saying "Thank you for your message, tell him that I would like to talk to him more about general matters."

While the conversation is still going on (interpreter is translating), Khomeini suddenly stands up to leave. Shevardnadze wants to continue with the conversation but  poor Shevardnadze and his delegation get totally confused as what to do, they stand up, Shevardnadze makes a sheepish bow and tries to at least offer a handshake, but Khomeini ignores him and places his hands behind his back, then makes a point of turning round and walking through the delegation without any customary pleasantries, not even an eye contact :))

The moral of the story is flattery and boot licking gets you nowhere with the Islamic Republic.


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