Statecraft and Stagecraft

Majid Saeedi / Getty Images

President Rouhani deplanes to cheers and jeers as he returns to Tehran on September 28 after visiting the U.S.

When important geopolitical events occur, we tend to see them through the prism of history: pictures from the past shape our understanding of the present. So, after the diplomatic breakthrough between Iran and the U.S. during the U.N. General Assembly in late September — topped off with an unprecedented 15-minute phone call between President Obama and President Hassan Rouhani — it is tempting to ask, Is this 1972 again? Is there a possibility of a dramatic change in relations between the two countries, the kind that took place between the U.S. and China when President Richard Nixon visited Chairman...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!