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11/04/11

Confidential Communications Disclosed: Obama's Threatening Letter, Iran's Stern Response

By Mohammad Reza Yazdanpanah, Rooz Online (November 1, 2011)

While the spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry had said that he was not aware of any confidential letter by the president of the US to the leaders of the Islamic republic of Iran, the disclosure of the contents of such a letter and Tehran’s response to it which appeared in international media resulted in the publication of more details by media associated with ayatollah Khamenei.

Kayhan's headline: "Iran's response to White House's letter. U.S. must officially apologize"
Kayhan's headline: "Iran's response to White House's letter. U.S. must officially apologize"

Iran’s Rajanews and Fars news agency, both closely tied to Iran’s security and military establishment, yesterday reported on what they called were stern responses of officials of the Islamic republic to US president Barack Obama’s confidential letter to Iranian leaders.

The main headline of Kayhan newspaper, a daily run by a directly-appointed representative of ayatollah Khamenei, yesterday read: “Iran’s Response to White House’s Letter: The US Must Officially Apologize,” for accusing Iran of plotting a terrorist act on US soil.

On Sunday, the Associated Press had quoted an un-named US official confirming the receipt of a diplomatic note from Iran on Friday in which US claims against the Islamic republic were sternly protested. According to this source, Iran’s protest had been received through the Swiss embassy in Tehran which represents US interests in Iran.

The same report also quotes an Iranian diplomatic source as having said that in its response to Obama’s letter, the Islamic republic stressed the “fabricated” nature of the accusations against Iran and called for compensation by the US for the “moral and physical damage” caused to it.

Raja News’s website yesterday carried a report that US president Obama had sent a letter to the Islamic republic in the last two weeks in which the “fabricated scenario of Iran’s plot to kill the Saudi ambassador” was raised.

The Response of the Islamic Republic in Kayhan Newspaper

According to Kayhan, also closely tied to the security agencies of the Islamic republic, Obama had claimed in his letter that Iran had planned this assassination plot and quotes him to have addressed Iranian authorities that “if such a decision had not been planned at the highest levels, the two suspects would be handed over to the US.”

International and Iranian media have not specified to whom exactly was Obama’s letter addressed and who in the Iranian regime had responded to the letter.

Raja News wrote that Iran’s letter had also protested the “language” used in Obama’s letter, indicating the threatening nature of the note.

As reported by Kayhan, the letter of the Islamic republic to the US government had stressed on the fabricated scenario “based on fabricated information and engagement in behavior contrary to international rules resulting in moral and material damage to innocent people from different countries around the world, including the people of the United States, in which the US invasion of Iraq is a prime example and which was itself based on fabricated information.”

In its report Raja News also claimed that the US president in his confidential letter had implicitly asked for talks with Iran, to which the Islamic republic had responded with silence, thus rejecting the call.

This appears to be the third letter that Obama had written to Iranian leaders.

Prior to this, Saeed Jalili, the secretary of Iran’s supreme national security council had confirmed that Obama had sent two letters prior to Iran’s tenth presidential election in June of 2009 to ayatollah Khamenei in which he had expressly stated that without regional and international problems would not be solved without the Islamic republic of Iran.

During his Friday sermon on June 19, 2009 in which he ordered the attack on demonstrations who were protesting the announced results of the 2009 presidential election in Iran, the country’s supreme leader had mentioned receiving a letter from the US and his advisor on international affairs Ali Akbar Velayati had subsequently confirmed this on a program on channel three of Iran’s television network.

Two Iranians have been implicated in the recent assassination claim by the US. One of the suspects, Gholam Shakoori, is in Iran and it appears that Obama’s most recent letter to Iranian leaders may have asked for him to be handed over to the US.

The US had submitted its evidence for the plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington to the UN Security Council earlier, documents which implicate the Ghods Force belonging to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps. Both the US and Saudi Arabia have also filed official complaints with the Security Council against the Islamic republic.

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