Those who have travelled throughout West Asia, where Iran is located, can vouch that the people of Iran view USA citizens more positively than even Israelis do. Yet here are two major issues and thousands of minor ones and some of which are listed in this article. Relations between the two countries have not always been reciprocal and Iran often finds itself at a disadvantage. (Iran has been in the region properly termed 'West Asia' -- not the 'Middle East' for thousands of years.)
President George H.W. Bush's National Security Advisor, Brent Scowcroft pointed out in the 1999 book "A World Transformed", co-authored with George H.W. Bush, that when Iran's Rafsanjani facilitated the release of the Lebanon hostages in late 1991, the Bush administration basically did not do anything. As the saying goes, goodwill did not beget goodwill. When a promise was not delivered it caused mistrust.
On May 2, 2003, Iran, through the Swiss Ambassador (representing America's interest in Tehran), presented the USA State Department with a "Roadmap to mending USA/Iran relations." Everything for both countries was on the table to be negotiated. Several officials indicated that this time it was the USA State Department officials who decided not to reply to (as one person mentioned, ignored) Iran's offer to normalize relations.
The majority of Iranians remember Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh and the CIA's involvement in the 1953 code named Operations Ajax. Interviews of Iranians in several cities also brought up the memory of the downing of Iran Flight 655 In July 1988 by the USA Navy.
After the Iranian revolution, which I was reminded by several clerics to call it the Islamic Revolution, as it was not just a national revolution, there have been over one hundred sanctions placed on Iran, the majority of which have affected ordinary citizens negatively. Many of these sanctions have been illegal as they discriminated against a member country of many international organizations. I addressed some of these in my discussions of the Chicago Convention. The hawks in Washington have been consumed by how many sanctions they can apply on Iran . Many of these have been coercive measures which again have affected the masses among them elderly and sick people.
Iran has helped the USA in West Asia many times. For example, November 2001, Iran assisted the USA via the 6+2 meeting at the UN in taking to Kabul a plan of freeing up the Northern Alliance. Iran's plan succeeded for the USA to take Kabul from the Taliban. Then in a January 29th, 2002 speech George W. Bush labeled Iran a part of the "Axis of Evil" thus worsening relations.
Iraq was given a green light to attack Iran. Arab countries of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait in Persian Gulf supported Saddam Hussein financially. A personal interview of a member of Kuwait's parliament and twenty four citizens of Kuwait, UAE and Saudi Arabia in 2004-2006 time frame; they all contended that these countries feared Saddam Hussein and they had no choice but to fund his war with Iran.
There have been some assassinations of Iranians in and outside of Iran. During 2010 to 2012, five Iranian scientists were assassinated in Tehran. October 2011, Former Speaker of the US House Newt Gingrich supported "taking out [Iranian] scientists," and presidential candidate Rick Santorum called the killings "A wonderful thing". There have been other killings, a dozen outside Iran's borders, twice in Iraq, several times in Turkey, Afghanistan and Syria.
With respect to the return of Iranian money to Iran; during the Shah of Iran's time Iran had invested money in USA companies and buildings. This was investment money in essence, not money for the USA to keep. The USA, in keeping the funds or letting US courts pay unfounded claims unfairly took advantage of the fact that the name of Iran was mentioned in the claims. No one from Iran was present at the court hearings. The bogus claims drained Iranian holdings in the USA and in other Western countries. In the end, only a fraction of Iranian money was returned to Iran after the agreement was signed in 2015.
On March 14th, 2016 Iran announced that it would never pay the $10.5 billion that a USA court demanded it pay for the 9/11 attacks. The same Bill-Clinton-appointed judge who had ruled, on 29 September 2015, that Saudi Arabia has sovereign immunity for 9/11 and so can't be sued for it, ruled recently on March 9th that Iran doesn't have sovereign immunity and fined Iran $10.5 billion to be paid to 9/11 victims and insurers; but on March 14, Iran's Foreign Ministry said Iran won't pay, because, as the Ministry's spokesperson Hossein Jaberi Ansari put it, "The ruling is ludicrous and absurd to the point that it makes a mockery of the principle of justice while [it] further tarnishes the US judiciary's reputation." (Source: by Eric Zuesse March 16th 2016.)
There are many other USA's aggression and involvement in Iran such as December 2011 US CIA Drone flying in Iran's airspace and Cyberattack called "Stuxnet" on Iran by Israel and the US (July 18th 2010.)
As recently as 2017, Iran was certified by the US government to be compliant with the multinational nuclear agreement. Yet more sanctions were nevertheless imposed on Iran by the USA. JCPOA, notes that "according to Article 29, the US is committed to refrain from any policy intended to affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran.'' Yet President Donald Trump was reported as dissuading other foreign leaders from doing business with Iran at the 2017 G20 summit, thus a violation of the agreement. The USA illegal sanctions against an IAEA and NPT member country has been addressed in this article ( HERE).
The USA has up to 42 military installations surrounding Iran. The largest one is in Bahrain which not long ago was a part of Iranian territory. Here is a map to verify. (This does not count the installations of Great Britain nor the Israeli ships at sea in the area)
There are fundamental issues which will not bring USA and Iran to normalize relations. Although the Iranian people sympathize with the Palestinians' plight, in several interviews in 2015-2017 time frames, they said they wished Arabs and Israeli people to solve their own problems. However, the Zionist State has not stopped with its expansion into Palestinians' lands, its meddling in other countries affairs in West Asia and the Caucuses and its support of ISIS whose injured fighters were treated in Israeli hospitals. There are other issues such as the role of AIPAC in American politics which have consumed the US government by how many illegal sanctions it can apply on Iran.
Iran is one of the few countries, North Korea and Cuba being the others, who have told the International Bankers who leach off of many countries that they will not bow to their monopolistic financial system. As long as Iran does this, it will be rare to read a positive view on Iran in the Western media. An interesting statistics is that all US Presidents who tried to get rid of the Federal Reserve were assassinated, Kennedy, Lincoln, and Garfield. Only Andrew Jackson survived. He survived two assignation attempts.