Calls to Kim Jong-un to mediate the schism between the Obama Administration and Senate Republicans apparently went unanswered. Fidel Castro is too focused on MLB spring training to be bothered. And Vladimir Putin is, well, busy managing the takeover of eastern Ukraine.
These are not necessarily the first world leaders who come to mind when the phrase "peace-brokers" is mentioned, but that is the spirit in which the New Yorker's Andy Borowitz wrote his latest column. The satirical column portrayed Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as extending a hand of peace and offering to mediate talks between President Obama and Republican senators.
This comes on the heels of an open letter signed by 47 of the 54 Republican senators sent to the Iranian regime. The letter said that any nuclear agreement finalized with the Persian republic under the remaining days of President Obama's tenure could be rendered null and void, "with a stroke of a pen."
While some have questioned the motivation behind sending this letter to the Iranians – saying it could undermine a high-level diplomatic negotiation – the column puts the issue in a different light. By writing from Iran's perspective, Borowitz provides a tongue-in-cheek focus to the impasse between the president and Senate Republicans:
“Tensions between these two historic enemies have been high in recent years, but we believe they are now at a boiling point,” Khamenei said. “As a result, Iran feels it must offer itself as a peacemaker.”
He said that his nation was the “logical choice” to jumpstart negotiations between Obama and the Republicans because “it has become clear that both sides currently talk more to Iran than to each other.”
The Borowitz column sent the Twitterverse buzzing with most reactions appreciating his humor, and many thought the headline was a creation of the satirical news publication "The Onion." A few expressed outrage that a comedian would use his platform to compare Washington gridlock to the Iranian government.
Had Borowitz's headline been true this would not have been Iran's first attempt at diplomatic mediation. According to the Global Post, President Hassan Rouhani had actually offered to host North and South Korean officials in Iran in hopes of spurring renewed negotiations between the separated neighbors in early 2014.