"He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
By itself, the U.S. cannot "contain" Iran. Working on a multilateral basis with the region's other powers, the U.S. would be in a stronger position to reduce the risk of Iran's attaining a nuclear weapons capability or, failing that, establishing a sufficient deterrence regime to prevent Iran from using such a capability to undermine the region's balance of power.America doesn't have the ability to contain Iran.
"That's why there needs to be a quid pro quo. The U.S. will have to accommodate China's need for energy, even sacrificing some of its own use of oil so that China has sufficient access during any cut-off of Iran's ability to sell oil on the world market. To date, the U.S. seems to be riding largely idealistic assumptions that every country, including China, has a largely similar vested interest in denying Iran the capacity to develop nuclear weapons. That assumption is incorrect. Until China's needs are addressed, China understandably cannot be expected to sign onto the type of sanctions that would hurt it far more than they would hurt various other countries."
You may be right. However, imo, the Chinese will never cooperate voluntarily in terminating DPRK production of nuclear weapons, and proliferation of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology. China doesn't feel that the current international system is legitimate. China believes it can game the international legal, political and economic systems because no one has stopped them. They have paid no price. The Chinese are happy to see America expend it's energy in futile causes.
The only way to get China to do what America wants is to threaten Chinese self-interest in the exact same way they have done to America. There are ways to do this which are really low cost if America is willing to endure unhappy talk from the Chinese.
Change the nature of reality for the Chinese. Since the Chinese have no problem with nuclear proliferation they should have no problem with Vietnam, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan becoming nuclear weapons states. We live in interesting times.
"By itself, the U.S. cannot "contain" Iran. Working on a multilateral basis with the region's other powers, the U.S. would be in a stronger position to reduce the risk of Iran's attaining a nuclear weapons capability or, failing that, establishing a sufficient deterrence regime to prevent Iran from using such a capability to undermine the region's balance of power."
This generation of Americans is not capable of punching its way out of a paper bag. It is best if such people avoid conflict.