Is today's "Islamic Iran" tomorrow's "Communist China"? The similarities are there: China was a "late starter" as a communist country (relative to Russia). Its primary political competition was USSR, not the capitalist West. China made its brand of communism separate (and distant) from, and sometimes in direct conflict with Russia's brand of communism. China's primary conflict was with Communist Russia, not the West, and this probably all but determined its relations with the rest of the world. Similarly, Iran was a late starter as an Islamic state (relative to, say, Saudi Arabia). This is true in an early historical sense as well as a 20th-century sense. Its "brand" of Islam (radical Shiism) is distinct from and mostly in conflict with the dominant "brand" (apolitical Sunnism). And, a large part of what dictates Iran's state ideology and foreign policy is its self-appointed mission to restore Islam's glory -- a mission that the rest of the Islamic world (notably the Sunni muslims) either did not try, or tried and failed miserably, according to the view from Tehran.1 If even some of the above makes sense, isn't it time to ask who is going to be the long-sighted president to repeat Richard Nixon's travel to China, this time by traveling to Iran? ... or not? (If not, why not?) 1I would even hypothesize that what made Iran into an islamic republic and determined its relations with the rest of the world was its perception of Sunnis' failure to promote Islam, and Iran's determination to prove that it can do a better job than the "Shiite-bashing, politically impotent" Sunnis.