(Disclaimer: this is a work of fiction. Learn to take a joke; you’ll live longer.)
TEHRAN/RIYADH/TEL AVIV/WASHINGTON – Iran President Hassan Rouhani has pledged a “new history” in relations with his neighbours as he became the first Iranian leader, and living human, to set foot in the Persian Gulf waters.
In a moment rich with symbolism and pomp, Saudi king Muhammad bin Salman, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Rouhani were all seen holding hands while sinking in the waters.
Rouhani said it was the “starting point” for peace, after crossing the military line that divides the land and water in the Persian Gulf.
Rouhani then invited Salman and Netanyahu president to step briefly across the demarcation into deep waters, before the trio swam back into shallow waters – all the while holding hands.
It was an apparently unscripted moment during a highly choreographed sequence of events.
The move comes after US President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the nuclear deal with Iran.
Much of what the underwater summit involving Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iran will focus on was agreed at press time, but many analysts remain sceptical about the apparent trilateral enthusiasm for engagement, considering that the leaders will actually be drowning into the sea throughout its duration.