The Green Zone is about to get an Iranian ice cream franchise called Ice Pack, reports the Washington Post’s Liz Sly, in “a vivid reminder of the shifting balance of power here as the U.S. military winds down its presence and prepares to go home.” Sly notes that Ice Pack’s franchising is modeled on a perception that the U.S.’s commercial expansion throughout the globe is an adjunct of American foreign policy; so what’s good for Washington is good for Teheran. There’s some good quotes in her piece from Iraqis who prefer neither influence and just want ice cream. And the franchisees in question just want to make money:
“We wanted to open a McDonald’s here, but we were afraid someone would blow it up,” Haideri said over large paper cups filled with chocolate ice cream, fruit and whipped cream, Ice Pack’s specialty, at the chain’s first Baghdad outlet in the busy Karradah neighborhood.
So who’ll be the first American diplomats to get Ice Pack for dessert? One can only wonder about an ice-cream summit with Iranian officials about the future of Iraq. We have the soundtrack.