The Corner

Funny Iranian Nuke Negotiators

What’s the point, if you can’t have fun at work?


Someone in Iran’s nuclear negotiating team seems to have quite the sense of humor.

At the big International Atomic Energy Agency powwow last month–as The Envoy previously noted here –Iran’s envoy to the atomic watchdog body was photographed sitting in the seats assigned to the delegation of Iran’s arch-foe Israel.

And now, courtesy of Arms Control Wonk’s Jeffrey Lewis, comes another photograph of Iran’s curious behavior at the IAEA meeting.

You know how at big conferences, companies sometimes give out pens or calendars or refrigerator magnets to advertise their brand?

Well, it was apparently in that spirit that at the IAEA general conference last month, Lewis reports, the Iranian delegation gave out its own swag–only at this gathering, the Iranians chose to hand out not pens or t-shirts, but laser pointers shaped to look like miniature nuclear enrichment centrifuges.

“Yes, the Islamic Republic of Iran distributed laser pointers in the shape of a  centrifuge,” Lewis, a counter-proliferation expert, marveled at his blog, Arms Control Wonk. Lewis posted a photo of Iran’s nuclear-themed swag provided by a colleague who requested anonymity. The laser pointers were emblazoned with the phrase “Nuclear Energy for All, Nuclear Weapon for None”–apparently a dis at Israel among other nuclear powers whom Iran accuses, not entirely incorrectly, of employing a double-standard in their approach to nuclear proliferation. The word “Uranium” circles the bottom of the pointer, as you can see in the photo above.

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