October 3rd, 2013
08:37 AM ET

What an Iran deal would look like

By Fareed Zakaria

We now know that the change in U.S.-China relations in 1972 led inexorably to China's becoming the economic power it is today–rich, market-based and open to the world. But that path was not at all visible 40 years ago, least of all to the Chinese. Even after 1972, the regime under Mao Zedong was thoroughly communist and largely hostile to the West. After Mao's death came years of internal struggle and chaos and then, unpredictably, the rise to power of China's real modernizer, Deng Xiaoping, who set his country on its great transformation. To make the parallel, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, is Mao, not Deng. And whatever Rouhani's views, he cannot change the nature of the regime.

In fact, the better analogy to consider for U.S.-Iran relations is that of another 1972 meeting, between Richard Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in Moscow. It was the first time an American President had paid a state visit to the U.S.S.R., and it resulted in the beginning of detente–a series of steps that de-escalated the Cold War and allowed for better contact. For now, that might be the most one can expect for relations between the U.S. and Iran.

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Topics: Time

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Joseph McCarthy

    An Iran deal would but one thing and that good, good and good. Iran could make a similar deal with the UN as South Africa did some years ago, that is to have nuclear power but not nuclear weapons. Richard Nixon's change of policies toward China was also good back in 1972. These right-wing diehards who oppose this deal simply need to be ignored for one time and no longer have any say in our foreign policy decisions!

    October 3, 2013 at 10:03 am |
  2. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    October 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm |
  3. 100 % ETHIO

    Jew caused flames between America vs others (non-Jews).

    At the past, jew pressured America, to go to war with Iran.
    But, the American Government waked-up and refused je

    October 3, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
  4. sand

    iran should not become friends with the usa and britain the west is evil and should keep its money for it self what china has done is chinas buisness iran is not china and iran wants economic growth but not with the help of usa and britain as an pakistani and a friend of iran im saying to usa and britain go and help africa or some other country.

    October 3, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
  5. j. von hettlingen

    Iran had been very secretive about its nuclear ambition. The world only learned about it in 2002, when an opposition group revealed that Iran was developing nuclear facilities including a uranium enrichment plant at Natanz and a heavy water reactor at Arak.
    The US accused Iran of a clandestine nuclear weapons programme, which Iran still denies today. A decade of intermittent Iranian engagement with the UN's nuclear watchdog and diplomatic activity followed. Iran dug in. The UN ratified four rounds of sanctions on Iran between 2006 and 2010 over the nuclear issue. The US and EU also imposed sanctions on Iran, stepping up measures in 2012 to include the financial sector. Earlier this year Iran's currency has been losing two-thirds of its value in the past two years.
    We are dealing with a huge Gordian knot. The only sustainable way to undo it, is to try to understand how the knot is tied. It needs patience and ingenuity to undo it without breaking it apart.

    October 6, 2013 at 9:52 am |
  6. May

    I am attaching these last few words that were confirmed by a Muslim friend (Ali ) to be 100%
    Correct funny and sad but True

    Spread the word ….THE MUSLIMS ARE NOT HAPPY!
    They’re not happy in Gaza ..
    They’re not happy in Egypt ..
    They’re not happy in Libya ..
    They’re not happy in Morocco ..
    They’re not happy in Iran ..
    They’re not happy in Iraq ..
    They’re not happy in Yemen ..
    They’re not happy in Afghanistan ..
    They’re not happy in Pakistan ..
    They’re not happy in Syria ..
    They’re not happy in Lebanon ..


    They’re happy in Australia .
    They’re happy in Canada .
    They’re happy in England ..
    They’re happy in France ..
    They’re happy in Italy ..
    They’re happy in Germany ..
    They’re happy in Sweden ..
    They’re happy in the USA ..
    They’re happy in Norway ..
    They’re happy in Holland .
    They’re happy in Denmark .

    Basically, they’re happy in every country that is not Muslim
    and unhappy in every country that is!


    Not Islam.
    Not their leadership.
    Not themselves.


    AND THEN; They want to change those countries to be like….

    Brainwashed Low IQ people

    October 7, 2013 at 9:40 am |

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