Iran and the future of the Middle East

Nixon went to China. Obama will not be going to Iran.

The 1972 visit of President Richard M. Nixon to the People’s Republic included meetings with both Chairman Mao Zedong, the communist revolutionary leader, and Premier Zhou Enlai, the pragmatic head of the government. Detente and normalization of relations followed.

By stark contrast, Ali Khamenei, the Islamic republic’s revolutionary leader, and Hassan Rouhani, the pragmatic president of the theocratic regime, will not deign even to share a bottle of pomegranate juice with Barack H. Obama, president of “satanic” America, their avowed “enemy.”

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