This is true only because Kissinger puts the proposition in relative terms. Yes, China is more important in historic terms than Iran because China is bigger and economically more robust and has a bigger if not a brighter future. But, in contriving in American foreign policy one cannot the content with relative judgments if the harm caused crosses an absolute line.
In other words, Iran is now possessed of two of the most important assets in power-play politics and will soon be possessed of the third. Iran is already strategically located a place where it can control the Straits of Hormuz and a vast percentage of the world's flow of oil. Iran is possessed of perhaps the second-largest reserves of oil in the world and with the proper exploitation can become a major player. Third, Iran is very likely soon to have the bomb and with that bomb it can exploit its control over the Straits of Hormuz without much fear of retaliation; it can intimidate its neighbors like Saudi Arabia and vicariously control the world's largest producer of oil; possessed of the bomb, Iran can intimidate its Muslim neighbors into active opposition to America and the West.
These three factors make Iran an absolute problem even if it is, in historic terms, relatively less important that China. Obama's Cairo speech as an opening ploy, knight to King 4, is defensible. As a goal for policy it will be disastrous. There is nothing in Obama's personal history to justify Henry Kissinger's generous wait and see attitude.
How can Kissinger imply this from Zer0?
This is Zer0’s first full time job.
My hunch is Kissinger knows we’re in deep doo-doo
with Zer0. To proclaim Zer0 as a moron is not productive
for our security. HK’s bluff may buy some time for Zer0.
SPIEGEL: But is what we have seen so far from him truly realpolitik?
Kissinger: It is also too early to say that. If what he wants to do is convey to the Islamic world that America has an open attitude to dialogue and is not determined on physical confrontation as its only strategy, then it can play a very useful role. If it were to be continued on the belief that every crisis can be managed by a philosophical speech, then he will run into Wilsonian problems.