We arrive in Tehran after stopping to refuel in the Azores. We are met by an assistant to The Grand Ayatollah and taken to see him at his office. He has a big smile when he sees Reggie like they are long lost friends. As customary no business is talked until we have many cups of tea and some dates of which Bob will not let us eat. The Grand Ayatollah is concerned he has not prepared the right food for his canine guests. Bob explains that dates are not good for dogs. The Grand Ayatollah looks perplexed and insists his canine friends must eat. Its a matter of Iranian hospitality he insists so Bob suggests some watermelon or carrots and within moments such sweet watermelon and carrots are set down before us. He mentions Reggie to hop up on his lap. If only people could see this they might be willing to seriously talk to Iran about its nuclear ambitions and its human rights issues.
After tea and refreshments Bob gets right to the point as he aways does and asks if Iran can increase its output of oil to compensate for boycotted Russian oil. The Grand Ayatollah strokes his beard and says some remarkable things. He says that Iran is disturbed about Tsar Putin’s irrationality and brutality. He was especially concerned about Tsar Putin’s public statement that those who criticize his invasion might have to be “cleansed”. He says this reminds him of Hitler. He also says Iranians are having second thoughts about Syrian decimation caused by Tsar Putin. In short he says Tsar Putin was massacring fellow Muslims. Iran, he says, started becoming very worried after seeing me attack and kill The Brute in Kiev. Iranians know what drove the little dog to attack this Russian rogue soldier that being the massacre of his family. The Grand Ayatollah says that Iranians see Russians as barbarous invaders. He then says we must pray about this and invites Reggie and I to pray at his private mini mosque. Reggie is a trusted friend of The Grand Ayatollah. Bob explains that I am Ukrainian Orthodox. Nonetheless the Grand Ayatollah still invites me saying Allah welcomes all peaceful loving creatures and has a special place in his heart for brave warriors with noble causes like me. I go with Reggie and The Grand Ayatollah. I do not kneel but quietly watch Reggie and The Grand Ayatollah pray. We pray for an hour and return to meet Bob. The Grand Ayatollah surprises us even more by saying he has seen the right way and will apologize to the Canadian government for the Revolutionary Guard that shot down a Ukrainian Airlines plane killing scores of Canadians aboard. He also says he will check with his ministers about increasing oil production but there may have to be concessions from the Americans. He says he knows Reggie and President Biden are good friends and hopes Reggie and Bob can broker a deal if necessary. He quickly says enough business. You must be my guest for a private dinner tonight. He asks Bob if ground lamb, carrots and rice would be good for me and Reggie. Now that will be a treat.
We go to a hotel and have a rest and prepare for dinner. We arrive for dinner and sit-down and The Grand Ayatollah asks Bob to say a Christian grace. Bob delivers a very sincere grace thanking Allah for our food and asking him for guidance and help in bringing peace to the world and making Canadians and Iranians great friends. The Grand Ayatollah astounds us by saying Iranians will increase oil production to the levels President Biden requires provided all sanctions are dropped against Iran. Iran will promise it will not develop nuclear weapons and open all nuclear facilities to United Nation’s inspections. Iran will meet with the representatives of the United Nations to discuss human rights. He says let the bureaucrats paper the deal. Reggie will be busy with President Biden.
After dinner The Grand Ayatollah gives us three dog blankets and jerseys from Teheran’s main football club. Bob gives The Grand Ayatollah a case of Canadian Maple Syrup. We are some of the few that knows The Ayatollah’s love of pancakes and waffles!
We are off to Rome for a quick visit with the Pope.