Sebastian Bates is a first-year law student at Keble College, Oxford University.
As the month of March drew to a close, the eyes of the world turned towards Lausanne, Switzerland, where negotiations to draft an accord that would limit the Iranian nuclear program were extended. Reports claimed that the atmosphere of the talks had been tense – France had been become increasingly hawkish and the Iranian representatives ever-more intransigent as the March 31st deadline came and went. However, the talks were not without an element of collegiality. Both the American Secretary of Energy, Ernest J. Moniz, and the senior Iranian nuclear scientist, Ali Akbar Salehi, spent time teaching or studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and apparently developed a good rapport.
No such warmth existed the last time the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America met for such widely‐publicized diplomatic talks. In 1980, then‐Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher led a delegation to Algiers to “resolve the crisis in relations” between the two countries “arising out of the November 1979 hostage crisis.”  On January 19, 1981, this delegation and its Iranian counterpart signed the Algiers Accords, which established the Iran‐United States Claims Tribunal.  The Accords assigned the Tribunal “the enormous task of adjudicating disputes involving billions of dollars in commercial debts, breached contracts, nationalizations, expropriations and other measures affecting property rights.”