According to most articles on the subject, the letter would try to reassure Iranians that the United States does not want to overthrow their government but instead seeks changes in their country's behavior.
But I remember the persuasive arguments by specialists in the region who said that Bush mistakenly believed that the United States could change countries in the Middle East -- at least in the mold that most Americans would accept. But we are now apparently on a "Global Change Initiative." So let's see what happens.
Imagine the difficult task for the persons writing this letter. I suspect that Miss Manners does not have any advice on how to write a letter that "reaches out to members of the Axis of Evil." But maybe we could try something like this:
Dear, Iran:I am so happy that I am an academic. Sarcasm does not work well in politics.
We need to talk. We know that the Bush administration said you were a member of the "Axis of Evil. We also recall that the last time we were together, radicals in your country staged a coup d'etat and held several Americans hostage. But maybe we can try to put those bad things behind us.
We believe our relationship might work this time, if you try a little harder. Your letter to President Obama was a kind gesture, but it is only a small step in the right direction. We are not trying to start a fight, but if you really want us to get together again, you will have to do things differently. Otherwise, people might think that you have something that we desperately want, like oil. But we do not need your oil. Once we finish rebuilding Iraq, we will have a pretty good supply of petroleum.
Please call Secretary of State Clinton if you have any questions. We look forward to talking to you soon.
The People of the United States