The preliminary nuclear agreement with Iran, which has been long in the making, may succeed or fail. But only a cataclysmic war will prevent Iran from fulfilling its long-postponed destiny as a major economic, political and scientific nation.

Speaking at the United Nations in 1951, Iran’s first elected prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, asked why Iran had lagged behind in a neighborhood where “hundreds of million of Asian people, after centuries of colonial exploitation, have now gained their independence and freedom.” Why did Westerners, who had acknowledged even Indonesian claims to sovereignty, Mossadegh asked, continue to ignore Iran?

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