Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
For Iran, the rationale for the long march toward partnership can not be found in strategic alignment or expediency of politics alone, it runs much deeper; for many Iranians, America represents the new world, where individuals thrive on the merit of their skills and character, rather than old world feudal hierarchy.
The Bush Administration's efforts to strike a workable deal with the Islamic Republic were part of the pattern of American-Iranian diplomacy since the Revolution of 1979: lots of talking, but no bargain, grand or middling. It's almost an instant replay of the Clinton years. In 2000, Albright gave a speech that essentially apologized for past American behaviour towards Iran.
It's beginning to look like Iran could be the culmination of the Arab Spring, the moment when it all comes together, where the lessons learned -- by Arabs and by the West -- from this fascinating, frustrating, bloody battle are finally put to positive, lasting use.
After decades of mistaken policy with the Middle East, the U.S. should do what's necessary to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, and get rid of Assad and his sycophancy to Tehran. America has a very poor track record with the Middle East, and will simply, eventually, have to do better than this.