Monday, January 30, 2006


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…Spent the week watching K negotiate a relatively small contract with Iranian vendors. The days were filled with offers immediately rebuked, prices rising 20% in a matter of hours, and general miscommunication, subterfuge, and ambiguity.

“Why didn’t you just send them packing?” a European friend asked us when we described our week to her.

“We were agreeing,” K explained. Our friend gave a knowing laugh.

Finally a contract was signed. Everyone seemed happy.

The next day the signatory an K were in a meeting. “I need 3 weeks more to complete the project.”

“You signed the contract.”

(3-hour discussion boiled down to 2 sentences.)

The signatory broke the contract, and it all started again with someone new…

So when we heard Jack Straw say that the Iranians were the most difficult negotiators he had ever dealt with, all we could do was laugh.

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