It isn’t only death and taxes that are certain. So are politicians who try to claim that a defeat is actually a victory.
Enter the Foreign Minister of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif. A few days ago, in response to threats made by Donald Trump against the very existence of his country, Zarif tweeted,
“Goaded by #B_Team, @realdonaldTrump hopes to achieve what Alexander, Genghis & other aggressors failed to do. Iranians have stood tall for millennia while aggressors all gone. #EconomicTerrorism & genocidal taunts won’t “end Iran”. #NeverThreatenAnIranian. Try respect-it works!”Full reports: Sky News
Zarif implies that Alexander tried to destroy Iran and the Iranian people only to be repulsed by the latter who ‘have stood tall for millennia’.
To paraphrase Donald Trump, this is fake history.
Firstly, because when he fought the Persian – Archaemenid – Empire (the then predecessor to Iran), Alexander did indeed destroy it. Forever.
Secondly, while it’s true that Alexander did not destroy the Iranian/Persian people, this was not because he tried and failed to do so. He simply never wanted to do so in the first place, either in part or whole. Alexander had a very positive attitude towards the Persian people – too positive for many people in his army. He appointed Persians to important positions, adopted Persian customs and dress, brought Persians into his army, and supported people like Peucestas who was enthusiastically pro-Persian in his role as satrap.
It cannot be stressed enough: Alexander’s quarrel was with Darius III not the Persian people as a whole. By suggesting otherwise, Zarif shows that he knows as much about his country’s history as Donald Trump does about diplomacy.