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How to Play Your Cards Right: Iran Style

  - By Yasser Aboraya -
Are you looking to start your very own country? Are you ready to take-on the big players? Do you have what it takes to play (or not) by the rules of the game? Here are eight quick tips and tricks to live-by that are inspired by Iran’s latest activities on the international arena over the past 3 years. 1) Leverage your soft power If you house a plurality of Shi’a Muslims and you are considered to be the keeper and protector of Shi’a Islam in the world, then don’t fear to use your soft power every once in a while. 2) Know your region Know thy enemy, know thy friend, know everything! If your country is located just on the bounds of a devastated region that is torn by wars and terrorism, but is rich in natural resources, start planning how to protect yourself from outside threats by pragmatically forming even the most temporal of partnerships. 3) Economy, Economy, Economy This might come in handy if someone large enough chooses to sanction you’re a$$. Focus on what you’re good at, build you’re industries, develop one of the world’s fastest growing stock markets, and maybe if you’re lucky enough, discover some oil and gas and be called an energy superpower. 4) Get nuclear Normally in politics – power = prestige – and this power can come in several ways. So why not join the group of elites that gave themselves the right to own nuclear power but are banning it worldwide? 5) Never back down Choose to get nuclear and the bullies will not leave you alone. But fear not! Your economy can withstand it if you play it right with the ample amount of pariah-partners you have. 6) Subtly annoy your enemies… Did you make an international statement? Good. Now you can start indulging in your immediate region with ease. Start by pointing out who is most probably your biggest contender in the neighbourhood and use your soft and financial power. 7) …By helping out their enemies The enemy of my enemy is my friend, until he screws-up my enemy - then I can own him (if he’s shi’a in the Irani case of course). 8) And look politically smart while doing it There is a saying that goes like this: The best deals are made under the table. So while you’re subtly doing all of the above, why not publicly brag about hosting some refugees to improve your “Human Rights” standing? All of the above was one way to run a country, but you can also act all swiss-like if you wish, but where is the glory in that right?

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