Erik Larson

Jul 2, 2010

US Nonplussed as Iran Threatens Ban

Iran’s Ahmadinejad threatened to ban Coca Cola and other American products Thursday, after President Obama announced new sanctions on the regime in further efforts to curtail its nuclear ambitions. Insiders in Washington remarked privately early Friday that Iran has in fact been receiving shipments of New Coke , tons of which were inventoried shortly after its introduction in 1985, in response to lackluster public interest. “We’re not worried about its [the ban’s] impact on the economy”, remarked a White House official who chose to remain anonymous, adding that a deal struck with Coca-Cola currently gives a percentage of the profits from sale of the now-defunct New Coke to the State department to help offset the cost of “dealing with Iran”. “We may feel the heat in terms of a loss of funding if Iran follows through”, he admitted, noting that sales of parachute pants and Vanilla Ice albums could also suffer.

Computer giant IBM and Intel were also mentioned by Ahmadinejad in his defiant response to news of further sanctions. And a spokesperson for Iran told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Friday that “further bans on U.S. auto imports”, could “bring the U.S. economy to its knees”, insisting that the thousands of Pintos Iran currently imports could easily be replaced with “less expensive models from China”, and “other countries”, insisting that such non-Western alternatives were competitively priced and would be increasingly sought after as relations between Washington and the beleaguered Iranian regime further chilled in the wake of Thursday’s announcement.

Obama declined to comment on Ahmadinejad’s retaliatory remarks, and privately the mood in Washington appeared upbeat. “We tried to sell them MC Hammer shirts”, said a State department official familiar with the matter, “but they told us to go packing”. “We were definitely the Great Satan after that one”, he mused, confessing that the once bestselling single “Hammer Time” remained a solid, if seldom admitted, favorite of his. “Don’t diss The Hammer”, he chuckled, jerking a thumb towards the wall behind him, where a photo of several men standing around crates of Coca-Cola was visible. “Drink up, boys.”