UN backtracks, denies sending 'congratulations' to Ahmadinejad

Contradictory statements surrounded a congratulatory letter reportedly sent by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad earlier in the week. While UN spokeswoman Marie Okabe was quoted on Tuesday as confirming Ban had sent the letter, she revised her statement on Wednesday, saying, "It is not accurate to refer to this as a congratulatory letter." Reuters reported that she refused to disclose the contents of the letter. Instead, she said that the letter expressed "the hope that Iran and the United Nations will continue to cooperate closely in addressing regional and global issues."