Despite estranged political relations, Iran and the United States showed signs of easing tensions last week for the first time since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. The historic nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers released Iran from major economic sanctions and led to a prisoner exchange with the United States. The starkest example of co-operation came last week after Iran’s seizure of 10 U.S. Navy sailors, who had mistakenly trespassed into Iranian waters in the Persian Gulf. The sailors were released swiftly in less than 24 hours, highlighting Iran’s determination to avoid confrontation with the United States.
It’s all been milestones in bilateral relations given the dismal record of the past, when dialogue and compromise between the two countries were rare. But questions remain whether this paradigm shift can survive given the opposition in Iran and the United States to the normalization of ties. Further...
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