First The Hostages, Then the Deal

Yes, the U.S. Government is ready to negotiate with Iran, discuss political and economic cooperation and assist the pariah state to return to the community of responsible nations. That message has been delivered for months to Tehran through Swiss officials, other third-country diplomats and private citizens. But the price for such a new beginning is not negotiable: all seven of the American hostages still held in Lebanon must first be freed unconditionally.

Since Robert Polhill was released two weeks ago, a chorus of calls has gone up for a reciprocal gesture from Washington, something that might promote more releases. Iranian Foreign...

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