A key-shaped cake, a Bible containing the president's signature, a pistol … These were gifts for important persons in Iran. As for the key, it signified "opening the door to U.S.-Iran relations," and as for the Bible, "all religions can coexist" was written on its last page. On Nov. 4, 1986, Rafsanjani, chairman of the Iranian parliament (and later president), said as much about the visit of the secret American envoy. In the summer of that year, the Reagan administration sent a top-secret envoy to Iran, which at that time had broken off all relations with the U.S. However, Iranian leaders refused to speak with them directly and, in the end, turned the envoy away. Nevertheless, at that time Iran was embroiled in a war with Iraq (1980-88). Iran was grateful to the U.S. for selling them weapons, and the U.S. found a new use for those proceeds by sending money to support the Contras, the pro-American guerrilla organization in Nicaragua (the Iran-Contra Affair). Secret business transactions were put into effect. For argument's sake, if Iran had accepted an open dialogue, the relationship of both countries might have moved toward reconciliation. However, powers quite displeased with that possibility circulated the existence of those secret negotiations in the Lebanese media and so it seems that Mr. Rafsanjani — of the moderate party, with regard to [sentiments about] the U.S. — had no choice but to make it look like he was taking a firm position. I would really like them to dispense with that spirit of rivalry already. The conference on nuclear issues between Iran and six other countries including the U.S. and Europe, held on Oct. 15 and 16, had an atmosphere that showed promise for the first draft of a joint declaration. If they reach the goal of coming to a resolution at next month's conference, reconciliation between the U.S. and Iran seems very real. However, the air of reconciliation could take a complete turn and grow cold fast. Just yesterday, it was the anniversary of the U.S. bombardment of Iranian oil field facilities the year after those secret visits (Oct. 19, 1987). They have strained with the effort to open that heavy door to better relations. But trying to do so with candy key seems a bit too naive.