Nixon got China to side with us to oppose the Soviet Union, whose power seemed too great for us to contain without China's assistance.
And Nixon used his reputation as a firm anti-communist to reassure the nation that a deal with communist China that strengthened China was needed to oppose the far more powerful and dangerous communist USSR.
While the current deal certainly strengthens Iran, the deal with Iran breaks down on both key points of this historic initiative. We don't have a common enemy that we can't deal with without Iran; and President Obama doesn't have a reputation of opposing enemies that gives us a reason to trust his initiative.
The analogy also breaks down because Nixon didn't try to transform China--just exploit their differences with Moscow to defeat the Soviets--while Obama seeks to transform Iran. (Voluntary regime change?)
But while President Obama can do nothing about his reputation to make the analogy appropriate, I neglected the obvious common enemy that President Obama shares with Iran--they both hate and oppose Israel.
And let's not forget the Europeans, who are clearly thinking the same way:
Inspired by Europe's role in a nuclear deal with Iran, the European Union wants to form a broader, U.N.-backed coalition to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
See? The Europeans must figure they can add Iran and America under this administration to put pressure on Israel. What? The Europeans can't wait until Iran gets nukes to cripple Israel?
This certainly explains why so many of the people celebrating the Iran deal so quickly express delight that Israel hates the deal (I've personally witnessed this, I'll add).