After the White House launched its @TheIranDeal Twitter account to explain the nuclear agreement with Iran, sarcastic copycats were quick to arrive on the scene.
The genuine White House-linked account claims that it’ll help readers “get the facts on the #IranDeal,” in a saturated media environment full of hype and exaggeration. It has retweeted Secretary of State John Kerry, U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power and other top administration officials as they defend the deal.
So far, @TheIranDeal has also promoted shareable infographics about how the agreement limits Iran’s access to a nuclear weapon.
— The Iran Deal (@TheIranDeal) July 21, 2015
The unusual tactic — dedicating an official online channel to explaining an unpopular policy — opened it up immediately to imitation from critics and pranksters. On one side, @TheIranBomb quickly became far more active than the government-sponsored account, preemptively tweeted at members of Congress and presidential candidates. Through a nonstop flurry of tweets and images, it warned that the deal would in fact hasten Iran’s suspected development of nuclear weapons. (RELATED: The 5 Biggest Winners Of Obama’s Big Nuke Deal — Aside From Iran)
It has promoted counter-messaging from groups including AIPAC and the Jewish Rapid Response Coalition. It has also alleged that an overwhelming proportion of the White House account’s followers are Iranians (it isn’t, check out the American time zones, GMT -05:00 to -08:00, right here):
More playfully, @TheIranMeal seems to exist in a universe where the multilateral agreement involved the safe handling of delicious, addictive Persian cuisine.
Instead of targeting current or hopeful government officials, @TheIranMeal caters to journalists and policy wonks focusing on the Middle East. Its voice vaguely echoes Iran’s negotiators, explaining that Iran hates “juice” rather than Jews (it prefers the richer and more exotic treat sharbat) and boasting that President Barack Obama really pushed for the deal in pursuit of “the best gosh darn pistachios on earth.”
The #IranDeal wasn’t about nukes or terrorism. It was about Obama wanting to get his hands on the best gosh darn pistachios on earth
— The Iran Meal (@TheIranMeal) July 22, 2015
Many Iran-watchers gamely played along. Yahoo’s White House correspondent Olivier Knox, for instance, joked that the account would be a handy mediator between the two more serious accounts. @TheIranMeal replied that it would be happy to cater the talks, courtesy of its delivery guy’s “sturdy bike and impressive calves.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation asked @TheIranMeal about the agreement’s effect on enrichment of fesenjan, a dangerously addictive meat stew whose ingredients include ground walnuts and pomegranate syrup. The account responded that the IAEA (not the International Atomic Energy Agency but the “International Awesome Eats Agency”) would be “strictly monitoring pomegranate supply chains.”
More fun with diplomatic acronyms involved the JCPOA — either a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or “Just Cooking Persian Offerings for Americans” — and transparency about Iran’s PMDs: Persian Mouthwatering Delicacies, just slightly less deadly than Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Despite appearing to imitate Iran’s diplomatic team, the account is also critical of the Iranian regime. One tweet urged Iran’s government to release Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, who as of Wednesday has spent a full year imprisoned on shady charges. Another bleakly compared Iran’s murderous treatment of homosexuals to the “human rights violation” of listening to John Kerry for months. (RELATED: State Department Officially Calls Iran’s Forced Sex Change Surgeries ‘Confirmation’)
As of this writing, the “Meal” account’s follower numbers are within a few dozen of the “Bomb” account’s.
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