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In a 2011 Op-Ed for The Times, two career diplomats, former Ambassadors William H. Luers and Thomas R. Pickering, said President Obama could learn from Nixon’s dealings with China in his approach toward Iran. They write that only Mr. Obama “can lead the United States to agreements with Iran that advance American national interests.”
Consider, too, the authors’ final argument: “There is no guarantee that diplomacy will succeed. But that is also true of war. And only diplomacy can offer Iran’s current rulers a stake in building a secure future without a nuclear bomb. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Only diplomacy can achieve America’s major objectives while avoiding the mistakes committed in Iraq or Vietnam.”
In what ways are United States-Iran relations today similar to those between the United States and China in the early 1970s? How are they different? In your opinion, does the United States run the risk of repeating mistakes committed in previous conflicts? Do you agree that United States foreign policy should rely more on diplomacy than military force? Why or why not?
Nixon arrived in Beijing on Feb. 21 and met with the aging Mao for the first and only time. He spent most of the eight-day trip with Zhou, continuing the negotiations begun by Dr. Kissinger the previous summer. On the final day of the trip, Nixon and Zhou released the Shanghai Communiqué, in which the two countries pledged to pursue normalization of relations and the development of trade. However, the communiqué made little attempt to resolve the issue of Taiwan.

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