The U.S. Congress and the international community has condemned President Ahmadinejad’s two-day Holocaust Denial Conference which began on Monday. President Ahmadinejad is stoking the flames of anti-Semitism in a blatant attempt to call into question the existence of the Jewish state and further unite radical Muslims against Israel. This is an outrageous abuse of leadership and an ironic reversal of history.

For nearly twenty-five years after the Holocaust, Iran was a close friend and strategic ally to Israel. There are generations of Iranians who remember when their country extended its hand to Israel. Today, most of their children have grown into young adults who hope for a return to normalized relations with the rest of the world, including Israel. They understand and value the importance of strategic relationships in the Middle East.

The U.S. needs to isolate Ahmadinejad and the radical Muslim clerics who support him. We must reach out to moderate Iranians on the streets and in the schools who both understand how dangerous his leadership is and seek to bring Iran into the modern, civilized world.

Talking to Iran is important for the strategic interests of the United States, Israel and the entire Middle East. We cannot allow the belligerent actions of one man to threaten our prospects for peace and stability for all.