Report: Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei sent Obama secret letter

Officials remain mum on rumors, in consistency with reaction to previous reports of 'private correspondence' between the two leaders.

February 14, 2015 03:14
1 minute read.
 Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and US President Barack Obama.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and US President Barack Obama. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has responded to overtures from US President Barack Obama amid nuclear talks by sending him a secret letter, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Citing an Iranian diplomat, the paper said Khamenei had written to Obama in recent weeks in response to a presidential letter sent in October.

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Khamenei’s letter was “respectful,” it quoted the diplomat as saying.

The White House declined to comment on the president’s “private correspondence” when reports surfaced last year of his penning letters to the Iranian leader, and declined to comment on this latest report.

But asked whether negotiations between the US administration and Iran were focused exclusively on Iran’s nuclear program, or otherwise included discussion of other regional matters, National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said the focus remained.

“I can confirm that the nuclear negotiations are still focused on the nuclear issue only,” Meehan told The Jerusalem Post.

“There has been no change to that policy.”

According to last year’s reports, Obama’s secret letter to Khamenei stressed the two countries’ shared interest in fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and said cooperation between the US and Iran on combating the insurgent group was tied to a deal being reached between Iran and other nations on its nuclear program.

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