TEHRAN, Iran — A top security official in Iran said Wednesday the Islamic Republic has written back in response to letters sent by US President Barack Obama, the first acknowledgement of such correspondence. However, it’s not clear whether Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wrote the letters himself.
The letter writing is part of a recent thaw in relations between the two countries since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the US-backed shah and the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran, where 52 Americans were held hostage for more than a year. It also comes as a US-led coalition battles the Islamic State terror group in neighboring Iraq and as Iran and world powers negotiate a permanent deal regarding the country’s contested nuclear program.
“This is not the first time that such a thing has taken place,” said Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, during an appearance on state television Wednesday night. “It had previously taken place and necessary response was given to some of them.” Continue reading