Thursday, January 21, 2016

Iran Away

With Iran re-entering the global market through the relaxations of sanctions against it, the world is a safer place but not a safe place.  Iran remains a nation that arouses deep suspicion from just about everyone, and the nuclear arms deal with the Islamic republic, while important and far-reaching, is not the last word.  Iranian society remains mostly closed and its mullahs continue to hold a great deal of power as they resist the forces of modernity and expand Iranian influence in the Middle East.  Détente with Iran has always been elusive - the Reagan administration tried it with disastrous effects - and while idiots like Tom Cotton are completely wrong in trying to use a hard line against the country, improved relations between Iran and the United States are out of the question for now, given the understandable paranoia in both countries.  The nuclear deal is an important development but a baby step toward normalized U.S.-Iranian relations, though the recent prisoner swap is a big help.
It is indeed a new era, and one that will hopefully lead eventually to peace and stability in the Middle East.  But don't expect President Obama's successor to visit Iran the way Nixon went to China.  Don't expect his successor's successor to do the same, either.         

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