Obama Wrote to Ayatollah Khamanei Last Month
Huge piece from Barbara Slavin of The Washington Times. Before the June 12 election, President Obama wrote a letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, delivered through the United States’ cut-out in the Swiss embassy in Tehran, about possible ways to reduce U.S.-Iranian tensions:
An Iranian with knowledge of the overture, however, told The Washington Times that the letter was sent between May 4 and May 10 and laid out the prospect of “cooperation in regional and bilateral relations” and a resolution of the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program.
The letter apparently had nothing to do with the election itself. Over the past several months, stories have come out about how the Obama administration was trying to find ways to negotiate directly with Khamanei, who holds the real power over Iranian foreign policy, and circumvent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Apparently they found a way, as Khamanei obliquely referenced in his Friday sermon: “They write a letter to us to express their respect for the Islamic Republic and for re-establishment of ties, and on the other hand they make these remarks. Which one of these remarks are we supposed to believe?”
Those “remarks” were Obama’s comments about the regime’s obligations to respect human rights.