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Iran calling: How Iranians use humor to cope with Trump

The US president’s statement that he hoped Iran would ring him up to reach a settlement has stimulated Iran's caustic wit — a talent perfected over centuries.
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks during an event to announce a proposal to end surprise medical billing in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RC1C62BF4AB0

Facing unprecedented pressure from US sanctions, the threat of war and a failing national currency, Iranians have resorted to a time-tested coping mechanism: a deadpan, caustic humor that has been perfected over centuries.

US President Donald Trump, the usual target of Iran’s self-referential humor, was once again a target earlier this month. On May 9, Trump, in response to a reporter’s question about a potential military confrontation with Iran, stated, "I don't want to say no, but hopefully that won't happen…What I’d like to see with Iran, I’d like to see them call me.” This curious phrasing about a nuanced process prompted the hashtag allô-Trump on Iranian social media, with humorous memes and videos poking fun at the implausibility of the suggestion.

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