Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran
A number of Iranian officials have released the details of the letter that U.S. President Barack Obama recently sent to Tehran.
The New York Times, citing U.S. government officials, wrote on January 12 that the Obama administration had sent a message to Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei warning that closing the Strait of Hormuz is a "red line" that would provoke a response by the United States.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast said on January 15 that U.S. officials had sent a message on the Strait of Hormuz to the Islamic Republic through three officials, noting, "Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, delivered a letter to Mohammad Khazaii, the Islamic Republic of Iran's ambassador (to the UN). The Swiss ambassador to Tehran (Livia Leu Agosti) also conveyed the message, and Jalal Talabani, the Iraqi president, conveyed the message to officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran as well."
Obama has called for negotiations
MP Ali Motahhari said on Wednesday, "In the letter, it has been stated that 'closing the Strait of Hormuz is our red line' and they have requested direct negotiations."
"In the letter, Obama has announced readiness for negotiation and the resolution of mutual disagreements," he added.
He went on to say that Obama uttered threats in the first part of the letter and talked about friendship and negotiation in the second part.
Obama says U.S. will not take hostile action against Iran
MP Hojjatoleslam Hossein Ebrahimi said on Wednesday, "Obama's letter has several parts. Part of it is about this, (namely) that using international waterways is the right of all countries and all should benefit from them. And in this letter, he has described it as the United States' red line."
"In the letter, Obama has mentioned cooperation and negotiation based on the interests of the two countries," Ebrahimi, who is the deputy chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, told the Nasimonline news website.
"He has stated in the letter that they will not take any hostile action against the Islamic Republic of Iran," he added.
Ebrahimi also said, "This is not the first time that Obama has sent a message and letter to the Islamic Republic of Iran. He has repeatedly spoken in a soft tone about the Islamic Republic of Iran, but, in practice, he has not acted accordingly."
"Obama's letter indicates that the United States has become afraid of the Islamic Republic of Iran's might and has realized the point that an arrogant spirit is of no use, and therefore, he has softened his tone when speaking about the Islamic Republic of Iran," he stated.
He added, "The important issue is that without the Islamic Republic of Iran's permission, no country can benefit from the Persian Gulf."
Iran responsible for maintaining security of Persian Gulf
Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaii also commented on the letter on Wednesday, saying, "Mr. Obama has written a cunning letter and intended to claim that the U.S. is responsible for maintaining the security of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, while Iran itself is responsible for maintaining the security of this region."
"We maintain the security of the region with the help of regional countries," he said, adding, "There is no need for the presence of extra-regional forces to maintain the security of this region, and we believe that the presence of the United States and Britain mostly creates insecurity."
If they "feel compassion" for regional countries and want to help them enhance security in the region, "I advise them to leave the region," Rezaii stated.
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