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U.S. President Barack Obama walks to the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, to speak about the breakthrough in the Iranian nuclear talks, April 2, 2015 (AP photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais).

Iran Nuclear Deal Reveals Cold War Roots of Obama’s Statesmanship

Monday, April 6, 2015

Is U.S. President Barack Obama the last great Cold War statesman? Obama aspired to be a transformational figure in U.S. politics. Yet when it comes to international affairs, he often harks back to America’s old confrontation with the Soviet Union. Justifying the last-minute push for a nuclear deal with Iran last week, he borrowed a line from former President John F. Kennedy: “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.”

After Iran agreed to the framework deal Thursday, Obama returned to the history books. Speaking at the White House, he quoted Kennedy again and summoned up two Republican predecessors. “The American people remember that at the height of the Cold War, presidents like Nixon and Reagan struck historic arms control measures with the Soviet Union,” he argued, adding that the Soviets had posed a far greater threat in their day than Tehran does now. ...

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