Many cops, attorneys and others have used the classic good cop/bad cop tactic to try to force concessions or confessions. The key of course is not to admit that you are just doing good cop/bad cop. That seems to have escaped Iranian negotiators in the ongoing nuclear program talks who have been giving interviews bragging about how they are screaming at American and other diplomats in a good cop/bad cop ploy. Hmmmm. It is nothing like a man screaming like a lunatic to convince you that he and his country should have access to weapons-grade nuclear material.
Part of the tactic does not appear to be an act. This appears to be the signature style of Iran’s foreign minister and lead negotiator Javad Zarif. His shouting and screaming is so loud that security repeatedly came bursting into the room out of concern that there was a violent breakout. Western diplomats have been sitting back to allow Zarif to blow himself out in each of the tirades. In one incident, European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton assured worried security officers that it was just Zarif again and that everyone was used to it.
What really caught my eye however was that Zarif’s unprofessional outbursts were openly discussed in the Iranian press and that the Iranian team also has been discussing how they are tricking Western diplomats with the use of the good cop/bad cop tactic. No doubt, Kerry and others never heard of this tactic even though every kid watching old cop shows is well-versed in it.
Iranian diplomat Abbas Araghchi discussed how Zarif “shouted” at Kerry in a way that was likely “unprecedented” in the history of U.S. diplomacy. That appears to be a good thing and a source of pride. He then went on to brag that he and Zarif play the roles of “good cop, bad cop” to “baffle the Western diplomats” and keep them uneasy. Clever.
As if to show the triumph of Iranian diplomacy, Araghchi said that after Zarif yells at Kerry and other diplomats there is largely silence in the room except for “one or two very respectful sentences.” They appear to mistake shocked and embarrassed silence of diplomats with people are cowed by the brilliant screaming and pounding of Zarif. They will see the same reaction to people raving on the New York subway. Few people call the guy screaming about the microchip in his brain in the Penn Station “a master negotiator.” However, they may now wonder if he is an Iranian diplomat.
Source: LA Times