Interesting perspective, although I'm super skeptical of 'unnamed sources' http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/02/21/btsc.iran.amanpour/index.html By Christiane Amanpour CNN TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- As I sat down recently with a senior Iranian government official, he urgently waved a column by Thomas Friedman of The New York Times in my face, one about how the United States and Iran need to engage each other. ''Natural allies,'' this official said. It was a surprising choice of words considering the barbs Washington and Tehran have been trading of late. "We are not after conflict. We are not after crisis. We are not after war," said this official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "But we don't know whether the same is true in the U.S. or not. If the same is true on the U.S. side, the first step must be to end this vicious cycle that can lead to dangerous action -- war." He confided that what he was telling me was not shared by all in the Iranian government, but it was endorsed so high up in the religious leadership that he felt confident spelling out the rationale. "This view is not off the streets. It's not the reformist view and it's not even the view of the whole government," he replied. But he insisted he was describing the thinking at the highest levels of the religious leadership -- the center of decision-making power in Iran. I asked whether he meant Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei himself. "Yes," he said.