Iran talks bring Déjà Vu, John Kerry on a bike, and Iranians on a walk

Those placing bets on whether a deal will be reached regarding Iran’s nuclear program have reasons for optimism, but recent history shows that even the most durable optimism does not a nuclear deal make.

Many presumed, or hoped, the current round of talks concerning Iran’s nuclear program—beginning March 15 in in the postcard-perfect lakeside resort town of Lausanne, Switzerland—would be the final round.

The dedication demonstrated by the principal parties to the discussion, United States secretary of state John Kerry and Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif, seemed to indicate that a Lausanne agreement was a possibility. Nine days later, a deal has yet to materialize. Talks resume on Thursday, with a March 31 deadline looming heavy over the proceedings.

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This article was written by Hooman Majd for Vanity Fair on March 25, 2015.