Iran: Some of Obama's Letters Were Answered

A close associate to Iran's Supreme Leader confirms that Obama has written letters to Iran, says some of them have even been replied to.

Elad Benari,

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Reuters

An Iranian official on Wednesday commented on recent reports that U.S. President Barack Obama had sent a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

According to the Al-Monitor news website, the official said that not only had Obama written letters to Khamenei, but that some of the letters were replied to.

“The letters of the American president have a history of some years, and in some instances, there have been responses to these letters,” said the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, according to Al-Monitor.

Shamkhani, who served as defense minister from 1997 to 2005 and is now Khamenei’s representative to the council, did not elaborate on which of Obama’s letters received a response, in what form or from which official.

However, according to a transcript provided by Iranian Students’ News Agency, Shamkhani said that there are “contradictions” between the contents of these secret letters and Washington’s public positions. In contrast to the United States, Shamkhani said that Iran’s private and public positions have been the same, particularly when it comes to the nuclear program.

He reiterated that in the current nuclear negotiations, Iran “would not accept anything beyond the Non-Proliferation Treaty,” describing some of the requests of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as being beyond the treaty, particularly on visits to military sites.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Obama sent a letter to the Iranian leader last month describing their shared interested regarding Islamic State (ISIS).

In that letter, Obama wrote to Khamenei that cooperation on ISIS depends on an agreement being reached by the November 24 deadline regarding Iran's nuclear program.

The White House refused to comment on whether Obama had indeed sent such a letter, and would only reiterate that Washington’s policy toward Iran has not changed.

Obama’s national security advisor, Susan Rice, later responded to the reports of the letter and said, “We are in no way engaged in any coordination - military coordination - with Iran on countering ISIS.”

Khamenei has more than once called for Israel's destruction, the latest incident coming just this week, when he launched a Twitter tirade against Israel, saying that the only “cure” for Israel is its annihilation.




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