Iranians Tweet On:

The 2015 Greco-Persian War

It’s been a dramatic week in politics for these two ancient rivals, as both fight on in their negotiations with the European Union. But on the verge of an #IranTalks breakthrough, what do Iranians make of the crisis in Greece?


Fair enough, it’s hardly the Battle of Thermopylae, but Greece and Iran are currently engaged in a struggle for world media dominance, as each country battles against their own Global Minotaur (whether the international financial system, or the P5+1) in an effort to secure their rights to self-determination and economic recovery.

While Iran and the P5+1 edged their way towards an agreement in the final round of nuclear negotiations, the world’s attention was seized by another dramatic turn in Greece’s political odyssey, when voters delivered a resounding ‘OXI’ to austerity. In the past month, the two nations have dominated the world’s headlines to an extent unseen since Alexander the Great got way too drunk and decided to burn down Persepolis.

“It must have been like what, 2500 years ago, when Greece and Iran last simultaneously dominated the news.” Thomas Erdbrink

A bumpy journey towards a resolution to these crises has rocked the global economy, which is currently struggling to cope with market volatility and exceptionally low oil prices. Against this backdrop, Iranians took to Twitter to try and make sense of the Byzantine complexity of Greece’s near-default and economic crisis, offering some ironic commentary if not any bold new solutions.

Here’s our round-up of the most widely re-shared Persian-language tweets about Greece and the European Union posted between June 29 and July 6.


Fight the Power!

What did they say?

If Ahmadinejad were still president he’d claim that, in line with his new world order, Iran should donate $350 billion to Greece.

What does it mean?

@sharifi123 opens proceedings by cracking a joke about former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s obsession with a ‘new world order’ to reform global governance and international cooperation, positioning the Islamic Republic as a leading light in the anti-imperialist, anti-Western front.

Would Ahmadinejad have sought to build bridges with Tsipras’ Greece the same way he did with Venezuela’s left-wing government? It’s worth noting that Ahmadinejad’s outreach to left-wing governments in Latin America is actually continuing to reap some rewards: in June 2015 Iran and Venezuela signed yet another economic cooperation deal.

Fuck You! We’ve Got So Much Oil!

What did the say?

Greece went bankrupt even without billions lost in embezzlement. Iran, after all its corruption hasn’t gone bankrupt yet. Fuck! We’ve got so much oil in our motherland!

What does it mean?

This *exuberant* post from @velgard100 draws attention to Iran’s economic woes, and highlights the fact that the country’s been dependent on its goliath oil sector to keep the economy afloat under heavy sanctions and endemic corruption.

Recent reports in the Iranian media have exposed how Ahmadinejad’s government had a hand in the Islamic Republic’s largest ever embezzlement case, and a number of top-secret sanctions-dodging deals in which a number of businessmen became very, very wealthy indeed.

An Easy Mistake to Make

What did the say?

I’m worried the 5+1 negotiations will be mixed up with the Greek negotiations — they’ll lift sanctions from Greece and kick Iran out of the EU.

What does it mean?

On Tuesday July 7 European leaders met at an emergency summit in Brussels to discuss the conditions to allow Greece to stay in the currency union. On the same date, 5+1 and Iran in Vienna were expected to approve a final deal on Iran’s nuclear program and the lifting of international sanctions (though this deadline has since been extended).

@imanbrando jokes that all this excitement may be too much for the European negotiators, who in their fatigue may decide that Iran doesn’t belong in the eurozone after all.

Graphs. What Else?

What did they say?

The Greek economy. What else?

What does it mean?

What else?

Graphs like the one posted by @ZandSaman have been widely circulating on social media, in order to help Iranians to understand the severity of Greece’s economic crisis and its conflict with the troika.

The Financial Times journalist Robin Wigglesworth posted the same graph on Twitter, noting:

“The Greek reaction is understandable given the sheer extent of the economic destruction.”

The Godfather

What did the say?

Babak Zanjani alone could save the whole of Greece from bankruptcy.

What does it mean?

Babak Zanjani is the Iranian businessman at the heart of the secret oil trading and corruption scandal under Mahmoud Ahamdinejad’s government. He is known also to be one of the richest men in the world — and certainly the richest man in Iran, with a fortune estimated at $14 billion.

Greece currently runs the risk of default, after failing to make a $1.7 billion debt payment to the International Monetary Fund on June 30.

Who knows? If Babak hadn’t been arrested back in 2013, maybe he could’ve given a boost to the IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign set up to pay off Greece’s debts.


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