Ayatollah Khamenei Talks to a Chair

The scene: The ayatollah's bunker, midnight. The ayatollah walks in, steamed and cursing. He turns to a chair:

Ayatollah Khamenei: 'All options are on the table, huh?' I got your options right here, buddy-boy.

(Pause)

Ayatollah Khamenei: Really? Are you kidding? You could set back our nuclear program 10 years? What are you smoking? You know, I liked you when you first got elected. I figured I could game you -- peaceful nuclear program, all that bullshit. But now you're just a pain in my ass.

(Pause)

Ayatollah Khamenei: Excuse me? Excuuuuse me? You didn't just say that, did you? Ahmadinejad? That clown? You're comparing me to a clown? The guy is a clown. I'm the  supreme effing leader. Supreme leader! Much better title than you have. 'President.' That's a title for a woman, or a Jew. Or a Jewish woman. Like Debbie Wasserman Schultz. If you're really so powerful, Mr. President, why don't you just do it, why don't you just bomb Fordow already?

(Pause)

Ayatollah Khamenei; That's what I thought. Too chickenshit. Going to hide behind the perfidious Zionist entity like always, right? It's time for you to go. Why am I even talking to you?

(Turns to second chair)

Ayatollah Khamenei: Bibi, you're a disgusting Jew. If you were a real man, you'd attack Natanz. Holocaust this, Holocaust that, I'm sick of it. Whine, whine, whine. About something that didn't even happen! I'll give Mahmoud this: He's right about one thing.

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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