Get a Hartford Courant subscription for less than 29 cents per day

International Atomic Energy Agency

Triumph or travesty, US-Iran ties warming over nuclear deal

Diplomatic triumph or travesty, America's relationship with one of its most intractable foes took two giant leaps forward this weekend when Iran released four Americans in a prisoner swap after locking in last summer's nuclear deal and receiving some $100 billion in sanctions relief.

The announcements culminated a stunning few days of activity for the Obama administration and particularly Secretary of State John Kerry, who led the diplomatic outreach to Tehran at President Barack Obama's direction through years of slow-grinding negotiations.

Speaking from the White House, Obama on Sunday hailed the "historic progress through diplomacy," long the centerpiece of...