Ahmadinejad sends letter to American people

State media gives no details of letter, said to be published later on Wednesday.

By
November 29, 2006 12:35
1 minute read.

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written a letter to the American people, which will be released in New York on Wednesday, a state newspaper reported. The newspaper gave no details of the letter, but it would appear to be an attempt by the firebrand president to reach out to Americans over the head of their government. The state-run newspaper Iran reported the letter in bold type on its front page, saying "the five-page letter to the American people will be released by Iran's representative at the United Nations today." Ahmadinejad wrote a rambling, 18-page letter to US President George W. Bush in May, which Washington criticized for not addressing Iran's nuclear program - where the US is leading the drive to impose UN sanctions on Tehran for its refusal to stop enriching uranium. Iranians in the street were disappointed by the cold response to the May letter because, while it did not make clear proposals, it was the first official communication between the two countries' presidents since the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Earlier this month, Ahmadinejad said he was planning to write a letter to Americans. "Many American people asked me to talk to them in order to explain the views of the Iranian people," Ahmadinejad told reporters, referring to his visit to New York to attend the UN General Assembly session in September 2005. Ahmadinejad has alienated many Americans by calling for Israel's destruction and repeatedly dismissing the Nazi Holocaust as a myth. He also strongly supports the Palestinian militant group Hamas and the Lebanese faction Hezbollah, which the U.S. State Department lists as terrorist organizations. Twice this year, Iran has proposed talks with the United States over Iraq, but Ahmadinejad has said that for such negotiations to take place, Washington must change its behavior. On Sunday, he said Iran was ready to help the United States get out of the "Iraqi quagmire if the U.S. changes its bullying policy toward Iran." Iran and the United States have had no diplomatic relations since 1979 when, after the revolution, militants seized the US Embassy in Tehran and kept 52 people hostage for 444 days.


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