Hindustan Times (Lucknow)
Join our fight against ISIS, Obama writes to Khamenei
SECRET MAIL Letter is being seen as an attempt to open up a channel with Iran
President Barack Obama wrote Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei a secret letter in October describing a shared interest in fighting the ISIS jointly. This is the fourth time US president has written to Iranian leader.
WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama wrote Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei a secret letter in October describing a shared interest in fighting the ISIS jointly. But any cooperation would be contingent on a comprehensive agreement over Iran’s nuclear programme, according to The Wall Street Journal, which reported the letter first.
The White House has neither confirmed or denied the existence of the letter and refused to comment on the president’s “private correspondence” with world leaders. But multiple media reports confirmed the existence of that letter citing officials and diplomatic sources, who have also said, US allies in the region didn’t get a heads up.
This is Obama’s fourth letter to Khamenei — his first was in 2009 — in an ongoing effort to engage Iran, which led to the start of negotiations over Teheran’s nuclear plans. There is a diplomatic deadline of November 24 for the negotiators to arrive at a comprehensive agreement, but, according to reports, it is likely to be extended. “It’s immoral and shameful and somehow we are playing footsie with the Iranians and hope that they will somehow have an effect on ISIS,” said senator John McCain about Obama’s letter in a TV interview.