Center for American Progress

What the U.S.-China Experience Can Teach About Iran’s Future
In the News

What the U.S.-China Experience Can Teach About Iran’s Future

Michael Fuchs and Ilan Goldenberg discuss why America's long rapprochement with China offers insights into a possible Iranian future.

The results from Iran’s recent elections indicate that reformists and moderates have made gains in both the parliament and the Assembly of Experts—the body that will pick the next Supreme Leader of Iran. These results are already setting off intensified speculation about the long-term domestic political implications of the nuclear agreement, and whether over time the deal can transform the Iranian political system. While a helpful barometer, one election will not be that predictive of where Iran may go in the next 10-15 years. A more useful exercise is to look at similar historical examples for lessons of how a major geopolitical opening may effect a closed regime. In this regard, the lessons from Nixon’s 1972 opening to China and the ensuing changes in Chinese domestic politics, the U.S.-China relationship, and American alliances in East Asia are highly instructive.

The above excerpt was originally published in The National Interest. Click here to view the full article.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Michael Fuchs

Senior Fellow

Ilan Goldenberg