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Worldwide poll finds Iran least popular country; American-Iranian Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) complains of delegitimization

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A newly released poll of 26,000 respondents in 25 countries reveals that Iran is the least popular country in the world. The poll, commissioned by the BBC World Service, found that only 15% considered Iran to have a positive influence in international affairs, while 59% gave it a negative rating.

(The poll is genuine, but the following is fictional.  Any similarity to persons or events is purely intentional.)

The findings caused outrage in Iran and among its sympathizers elsewhere. Iran’s Foreign Minister objected: “What we are witnessing is the result of a campaign of demonization and delegitimization against the only Persian country on Earth. It is disgusting, depressing, demoralizing, devastating, disingenuous, and devious, and I’m not even half-finished with the letter D.”

The survey results also were immediately denounced by Ibrahim Foxmadinejad of the Iranian-American Anti-Defamation League (AIADL). “The world’s oldest hatred – intolerance of Persians – has once again reared its ugly head.” Foxmadinejad implored his supporters to open their wallets and give generously to the AIADL to combat the scourge of the new anti-Persianism that represents the greatest threat faced by the Iranian community in more than three weeks, since his last appeal.

The American-Iranian Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) vowed to redouble its efforts at lobbying in Washington, and released the following statement: “If it were not for virtually unanimous support of the President and Congress, the regime in Tehran would have disappeared from the face of the Earth, or perhaps the pages of time. We are truly grateful for our sycophants in the halls of U.S. power, and will continue to isolate, ostracize, and personally ruin those few remaining politicians who dare to even slightly depart from our script demanding full obeisance to Iranian interests.”

Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershameini was livid, decrying the “double standards” under which Iran was judged. “Unpopularity should be driven by a ’worst first’ agenda. Other countries have a far worse human rights record. Until every one of those countries is held in as little esteem as we are, this poll reflects a quasi-racial bias against our community.” Dershameini vigorously denied the reports that he had challenged all 26,000 survey respondents to a debate. “Nothing could be further from the truth. Smear artists are exaggerating my remarks to portray me as unreasonable. I only proposed to debate the 59% who gave Iran an unfavorable rating, barely 15,000 people. I anticipate that they will be too cowardly to accept, but that will not prevent me from speaking. I will debate against 15,000 empty chairs if I have to.”

A fundraiser at the Waldorf-Astoria for Friends of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (FIRG) was momentarily halted as news of the international insult spread among the well-heeled attendants. One major donor, speaking on condition of anonymity because he had not given himself permission to do so, said, “While the rest of the world is wallowing in the pig sty of anti-Iranian rhetoric, everybody can kiss our butts. We’re raising $27 million here tonight.”

The reactions of the only other three countries to yield negative poll ratings of greater than 50% – Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel – were much more muted. Pakistan and North Korea said nothing at all, while Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu called Iran’s outraged reaction “laughable.” “These simpletons claim that worldwide antipathy to Iran is not based on what they do, but on some sort of racist reaction to who they are, as if anti-Persian feeling were a virus that spreads uncontrollably among the unwashed masses. It’s time for them to grow up and accept their unpopularity as a wake-up call. We here in Israel intend to find out what it is we are doing that is bugging other people, and to simply stop doing it. Our willingness to admit responsibility for our errors and comply with international norms should be a model for Iran to emulate. I doubt they’re up to the challenge.”

At the more favorable end of the poll, Germany was found to have the most positive influence in the world. Chancellor Angela Merkel boasted that the poll proved that the people of the world embrace the “budget-balancing” and “growth-friendly consolidation” measures her country has been pushing on others. She crowed that her tactical use of such positive-sounding phrases rather than the harsh word “austerity” had paid handsome dividends in Germany’s global popularity.

David Samel

David Samel is an attorney in New York City.

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17 Responses

  1. Les on June 3, 2013, 11:54 am

    Iran is Israel’s enemy, not the US’ enemy. It’s not AIPAC that derserves the credit for demonizing Iran. Our media can take the bow on their success.

  2. Bumblebye on June 3, 2013, 12:27 pm

    “Ibrahim Foxmadinejad” – titter.
    “Alan Dershameini” – snort!

    • piotr on June 4, 2013, 8:51 am

      Stylistically, I would prefer Ala-ed-din Derschameini.

      Also, so dates are needed: 2500 years of anti-Iranian propaganda, which is so pervasive that one of the Olympic competitions is celebrating a battle with Persians. Such singling out and double standards are the standard fare,but Iran survived these 2500 years …

      historical bases for the date:

  3. Danaa on June 3, 2013, 12:47 pm

    This is hilarious. Right on the money, too.

    I liked the AIPAC part – with just the slightest twist it could all be true!

    • DaveS on June 3, 2013, 3:08 pm

      thanks, Danaa. As you can see from the links, I didn’t make any of this up. The “slightest twist” is all it took.

  4. mijj on June 3, 2013, 1:24 pm

    polls like this are a test of how well western propaganda cloak reality. Looks like propagandists are doing a great job.

  5. eljay on June 3, 2013, 1:38 pm

    >> “What we are witnessing is the result of a campaign of demonization and delegitimization against the only Persian country on Earth. … ”

    Love it! :-)

  6. maz on June 3, 2013, 4:04 pm

    Ibrahim Foxmadinejad…always complaining about something

  7. MRW on June 3, 2013, 4:25 pm

    Hope you had as much fun writing it as I did reading it.

  8. just on June 3, 2013, 4:38 pm

    Absolutely, positively brilliant David.

    I really think this should be front- paged in every newspaper in the West, East, North and South.

    I also think we need & should begin normalization of relations with Iran. I believe that we could indeed become, if not allies, positive partners. The people of Iran yearn for much more. There really is no hatred toward the US by the average Iranian.

    I think it incredibly sad that after what we, the US and Britain, did to Iran by the coup d’etat of M. Mossadegh (democratically elected PM), the installation of the Shah, the arming of Saddam that enabled the killing of ca 1 million Iranians, all we have done since is constantly demonize the country. Our hypocrisy and complicity is truly tragic.

    • Citizen on June 4, 2013, 4:21 am

      @ just
      I agree. It’s a collosal mistake on both moral/ethical and geo-strategic grounds to have no customary diplomacy with Iran other than draconian sanctions and the threat of war. I guess balancing power in a region is passe.

  9. Shmuel on June 3, 2013, 4:55 pm

    “It’s ‘300’ all over again”, Dershameini remarked. “First the Delian League, and now this poll. There’s just so much the only democracy in the Middle East will take!”

    Off-camera, Dershameini blamed self-hating Persians like Davood Samelzad for giving a “halal stamp” to Iran’s worst enemies.

  10. Keith on June 3, 2013, 5:19 pm

    “The Brookings Institute just a few months ago released extensive polls of what Arabs think about Iran. And the results are rather striking. They show that Arab opinion does — holds that the major threat in the region is Israel, that’s 80 percent; the second major threat is the United States, that’s 77 percent. Iran is listed as a threat by 10 percent. With regard to nuclear weapons, rather remarkably, a majority, in fact, 57 percent, say that the region will be — it would have a positive effect in the region if Iran had nuclear weapons. Now, these are not small numbers. Eighty percent, 77 percent say that the U.S. and Israel are the major threat. Ten percent say that Iran is the major threat.” (Noam Chomsky, 2010)

  11. K Renner on June 4, 2013, 8:23 am


    Iranians are far more sympathetic, if I can comment on a serious note, not the least because they don’t live in a fully democratic society and therefore don’t have much of a say to the ultimate end of the government’s decision-making.

    The constant bleating of “the only democracy” is not only false- the government in Tel Aviv doesn’t give equal rights to Palestinians within the green- but also damning of the population awarded full democratic rights- the Israeli jews. They know everything that the government does, they have the power to change policy- and they don’t. Not even to the slightest degree.

  12. just on June 4, 2013, 9:32 am

    Dani Rossaminejab, Dorah Goldymyearian, and Mark Regevfreibergeviastinian…..etc.

    David, your article is positively priceless– the English language, coupled with your irony, is magic.

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