On the surface, little has changed: Iran will not stop enriching uranium. The world will not stop applying sanctions to Iran. Iran and Israel have not become anything less than hostile to one another. Iran remains an authoritarian theocracy.
But the diplomatic accord reached early Sunday morning between Iran and the West is about far more than its relatively limited contents. The deal itself (which only applies for six months) is in some ways the least important factor in this new relationship. Here are four reasons why this new diplomatic reality matters: