Ten handy phrases for bluffing your way through the coming Iran crisis

1) Say ‘Iran’s proxies in the region’ a lot

The word ‘proxies’ is bluffer gold-dust so sprinkle liberally. You don’t even need to know what a proxy is! The very word makes you sound like you understand what the various factions are (when you don’t), plus saying ‘region’ gives the impression you know Middle Eastern tensions (when you don’t). If pushed, or asked to expand, just say ‘look at Yemen’ or ‘What happens in Lebanon will be interesting.’

2) ‘The real winners here, of course, are China and Russia’

You are a bigger picture guy, so deploy this phrase when the chat gets a bit too into Iranian or Iraqi politics. Talk also about ‘great powers’, or ‘the 21st century great game’, or ‘power blocs’.