Settling International Claims

Archive Report

Iran Accords in Spotlight

American Ambivalence Over Hostage Deal

The accords with Iran have aroused a characteristic ambivalence in Americans. People are relieved that the 444-day hostage crisis is over, but many also feel that it was humiliating to strike a “deal” with a government that has made a mockery of international conventions. In polls taken immediately after the announcement of the agreements on Jan. 19, the Americans questioned generally approved them by roughly a 2-1 margin, but substantial numbers thought they were “dishonorable” and that the United States had given too much away.1

In the minds of many Americans, misgivings about the agreements are closely linked to suspicions that Iran might refuse to abide by their terms. Could a government that condoned hostage-taking, in violation of ...

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