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ROSA BROOKS; A preschool lesson on Iran
Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, Calif.
Subjects: Conflict resolution; Letters; International relations-US -- Iran; Diplomacy
Author: Brooks, Rosa
Date: May 12, 2006
Start Page: B.13
Section: California Metro; Part B; Editorial Pages Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

[Mahmoud Ahmadinejad]'s letter was intense, rambling and often disturbing. But he voiced sentiments shared by millions within and outside the Islamic world: suspicion of U.S. motives, distress about the widening global gap between the haves and have-nots, and anger over the war in Iraq, the status of the Palestinians and U.S. abuses in the war on terror.

More important, the letter was the first direct communication the U.S. has had from Iran in 27 years, and it suggests that even Ahmadinejad, one of the hardest of Iranian hard-liners, wants recognition and dialogue with the U.S.

There have been other overtures. At the same time Ahmadinejad's letter was made public, Hassan Rowhani, a senior representative of Khamenei (and formerly Iran's top nuclear negotiator), released a memorandum outlining specific concessions Iran is willing to make in its pursuit of nuclear technologies. Iran is offering us a shovel -- I mean, an olive branch -- if we have the wits to take it.

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