In a letter to the editor of The New York Times, published on Jan. 13, 2007, Laingen wrote:
"The United States and Iran must talk. Not with the mutually negative public rhetoric that for the 27 years since the 1979 hostage crisis has eroded the trust needed for any diplomatic exchange; not indirectly, as we do now on the nuclear issue through our Security Council and European Union colleagues; but frontally and frankly as responsible powers with shared interests in a critically important part of the world.
"The absence of dialogue has made no sense on any count-strategic, human, historic, political, cultural. It has complicated our relationships with every other country in the region. We alone among the powers have chosen to signal in this way our reservations about Iran's conduct in the world arena.
"Talking won't be easy....But we lose nothing now by joining directly with our allies and friends in direct soundings of Iran's intentions."
...Were the American people not God-fearing, truth-loving and justice-seeking, while the U.S. administration actively conceals the truth and impedes any objective portrayal of current realities;
And if we did not share a common responsibility to promote and protect freedom and human dignity and integrity;
Then, there would be little urgency to have a dialogue with you.
While Divine providence has placed Iran and the United States geographically far apart, we should be cognizant that human values and our common human spirit, which proclaim the dignity and exalted worth of all human beings, have brought our two great nations of Iran and the United States closer together.
Both our nations are God-fearing, truth-loving and justice-seeking, and both seek dignity, respect and perfection. Both greatly value and readily embrace the promotion of human ideals such as compassion, empathy, respect for the rights of human beings, securing justice and equity, and defending the innocent and the weak against oppressors and bullies.
We are all inclined toward the good and toward extending a helping hand to one another, particularly to those in need.
We all deplore injustice, the trampling of people's rights and the intimidation and humiliation of human beings. We all detest darkness, deceit, lies and distortion, and seek and admire salvation, enlightenment, sincerity and honesty.
The pure human essence of the two great nations of Iran and the United States testifies to the veracity of these statements...
...we have common concerns, face similar challenges, and are pained by the sufferings and afflictions in the world.
We, like you, are aggrieved by the ever-worsening pain and misery of the Palestinian people. Persistent aggressions by the Zionists are making life more and more difficult for the rightful owners of the land of Palestine. In broad daylight, in front of cameras and before the eyes of the world, they are bombarding innocent defenseless civilians, bulldozing houses, firing machine guns at students in the streets and alleys, and subjecting their families to endless grief.
No day goes by without a new crime. Palestinian mothers, just like Iranian and American mothers, love their children, and are painfully bereaved by the imprisonment, wounding and murder of their children. What mother wouldn't be?
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