BAGHDAD — The US Department of State has achieved a major breakthrough in Iraq's attempt to assemble a cabinet, after brokering a deal in which Swedish home goods retailer IKEA was contracted to assemble it, according to sources.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who had been unable to assemble the cabinet himself, reportedly "breathed a heavy sigh of relief," after learning of the $800 million contract.
Ikea, infamous for its complex cabinet designs that require an immense amount of assembly with vague instructions, was brought in after al-Abadi and US advisers stayed up for two days straight trying to put together a cabinet themselves. US State Department spokesman John Kirby confirmed the arrangement and said he expects Ikea's assembly fee "will be worth it."
"It's impossible. There is no way you can do this by yourself," said Kirby, visibly disheveled and un-showered. "We invited all of the neighbors over — Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey. But Iran kept rearranging things."
In Leiden, Ikea CEO Peter Agnefjäll described how his company jumped at the chance to help the Federal Government of the Republic of Iraq shed its image of rampant corruption and give it a more streamlined, modern look.
"We designed something especially for the Prime Minister unlike anything the country has ever seen," said Agnefjäll. "I am talking about pieces that won't fall apart at the first signs distress and can support the interests of the people of Iraq without splintering into dozens of elements."
US Army CENTCOM, which has been involved in the lengthy project since 2003 with sunk costs numbering in the trillions, was consulted briefly for the project, but was asked to leave after breaking the cabinet's foundation in a fit of rage.
"There are so many pieces, and none of them go where they are supposed to," said CENTCOM commander Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III.
"It is like the cabinets are designed to fail before you even start building them."