There were scenes of high excitement at yesterday’s draw for the UN’s annual ‘Secret Santa’ after Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad broke ranks to declare that he had drawn US President George Bush. The news saw Iranian diplomats ‘high-fiving’ and punching the air in celebration as their American counterparts looked anxiously around the chamber in what they later denied was a casual attempt to locate the exits.
‘I’m delighted with the draw,’ said a beaming Ahmadinejad afterwards. ‘You know how it is when you have the ideal present for someone – you’re just praying it’ll be their name you pick. We’ve had a research and development facility working for eight years for just this day, and now is our opportunity to show the world how much we appreciate the contribution the US is making to a better, safer world.’
A visibly nervous White House spokesman welcomed the result of the draw. ‘Are we worried? No! Why would we be worried? Of course we’re not worried,’ he said. ‘We’ve been wanting to strengthen our ties with the Iranian administration for some time – not to mention our missile defence system – and although it’s a shame president Ahmadinejad has let the cat out of the bag, it at least gives us plenty of time to, erm, prepare a really heartfelt thank-you letter.’ A CIA spokesman later denied any link between the immediate raising of the US’s national threat level and the Iranian president’s promise to deliver a gift of ‘devastating proportions’.
Other draws included Silvio Berlusconi getting North Korean leader Kim Yong-il, who is apparently planning to give him some extra tips on state-controlled television. Meanwhile Robert Mugabe only smiled when asked if he had drawn Gordon Brown as he was spotted by reporters leaving a Harare gift shop with some outsize foam fingers formed into a V-sign. And Nicholas Sarkozy was believed to have drawn Angela Merkel. His suggested present idea was met with a slap in the face from Germany’s first female Chancellor.