Iran's Supreme Leader exchanges 'secret letter' with US president

A recent thawing in Iran-US relations has brought both sides back to the table over a possible nuclear deal

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The Independent Online

Iran’s Supreme Leader has reportedly sent a secret letter to the US president in response to a possible thaw in relations between the two countries.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s foremost political figure, allegedly wrote to US leader Barack Obama after a presidential letter in October that suggested the possibility of US-Iranian cooperation against Isis.

Details of the letter were uncovered by the Wall Street Journal, citing an Iranian diplomat, who claims that the Ayatollah Khamenei’s response was “respectful” but noncommittal.

Mr Khamenei has indicated his support of moderate president Hassan Rouhani, who is attempting to push through a deal with the US regarding Iran’s nuclear programme.

But hardliners within the nation have strongly opposed the sudden change in diplomatic temperature.

It is believed that Mr Rouhani’s survival owes much to Mr Khamenei’s tacit support.

Mr Khamenei has been careful to remain vague, choosing his words very carefully, but indicated this week that he could accept a compromise in nuclear talks.

“He basically wants credit if there is a deal, and doesn't want to be blamed if it doesn't work,” Michael Singh, managing director at The Washington Institute, told The Associated Press.

 

It is the second letter believed to have been sent by Iran’s leader to the US president.

The White House and Iranian mission at the United Nation both denied to comment and neither have confirmed the content of any presidential correspondence.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press

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