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‘Still no Whiskey!’ The Jokes Circulating Among Iranians Celebrating the Nuclear Deal

Today is Friday. What shall we do today? Should we say 'Down to America' in Friday prayers or not?


“I went to the store now and they still don’t have whiskey! What kind of a deal is this?”

With the news that international negotiators have reached an agreement governing Iran’s nuclear program, that joke has been circulating among the country’s citizens on text messaging services, such as WhatsApp and Viber. Given restrictions on freedom of speech and expression in Iran, such platforms have emerged as popular ways to share jokes and opinions that poke fun at the government.

And in the last 24 hours, talk and jokes about the nuclear agreement, which may ease decades of international isolation for Iran, have exploded on mobile messaging services. Users on these platforms have adopted an often sardonic tone, one that speaks to a segment of the population in Iran that has grown frustrated with their country’s antagonistic relationship with the West.

These jokes were provided to Foreign Policy by a source with contacts inside Iran and who requested to remain anonymous to preserve those relationships.

One joke that’s circulating wonders sarcastically whether the agreement will herald a broader change in Iranian foreign policy:

Today is Friday. What shall we do today?? Should we say “Down to America” in Friday prayers or not?

Then there’s the matter of the Swiss hotel bill:

Latest news from the hotel in Lausanne: A deal has been reached resolving all major points of contention–except that there is no agreement on the hotel bill. Zarif says they should split the bill, while Kerry says Iran should pay for it as the negotiations were for Iran.

And will the clerics get behind the agreement?

Today is Friday, I bet the negotiations will all be destroyed by the sermon at Friday prayers!

Update: Our source passes along another joke making the rounds: 

A second wife is like nuclear energy. Even though it is your undeniable right they won’t let you get it.

Outside of cyberspace, the program has been greeted by widespread celebrations on the streets of Iran. The country’s citizens danced in the streets, and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif received a hero’s welcome outside the airport in Tehran.

ویدیوی فرستاده شده به #گزارشگر Manoto TV از استقبال مردم در #ایران در فرودگاه مهرآباد تهران از جواد #ظریف Javad Zarif و دادن شعارهای سیاسی علیه روزنامه کیهان و درحمایت از جواد ظریف…شما هم گزارش‌های خود را به ما از طریق یا از طریق تلگرام به شماره: 00447590899999 ارسال کنید.

Posted by Manoto TV on Friday, April 3, 2015


Elias Groll is a staff writer at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @EliasGroll

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