(photo credit: AP [file])
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has agreed to allow an American scholar to be buried in the historic Iranian city of Isfahan when he dies, the state broadcasting company said Thursday.
Richard Nelson Frye, an 87-year-old professor of Iranian and Central Asian studies at Harvard University, made his request in a letter addressed directly to Ahmadinejad, the broadcasting company reported on its Web site.
"I ask the Iranian president to allow my burial in the beautiful city of Isfahan to prove the unbreakable link between the honorable Iranian and American nations," Frye was quoted as saying in his letter.
In addition to praising Frye, Ahmadinejad provided some rare words of support for the US in his written authorization of the burial request, which was carried by the broadcasting company's Web site.
"Both the Iranian and American nations are seekers of monotheism, justice and the beauty of pure thoughts," said the Iranian president. "While hoping for long life for this introducer of Islamic culture to other people in the world, it is necessary to arrange the realization of his wish."
Despite Ahmadinejad's frequent anti-US rhetoric, he has tried to appeal to ordinary Americans in recent years. He opposed a law that required fingerprinting Americans upon their arrival in Iran and proposed direct flights between the two countries. But he failed to see either wish realized.