Reuters reported today that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has approved a request by the country’s foreign minister to reach out to Washington and enter into “broad discussions with the United States.” Ali Akbar Salehi, the foreign minister, reportedly made his request to start the dialogue with the U.S. in a three-page hand-written letter sent to Khamenei five months ago, two sources who have read the letter told Reuters. The supreme leader wrote back to Salehi and the cabinet that although he was not optimistic about the prospect, but would not oppose them if they pursued the initiative.
“Salehi endangered his career - and even his security,” said a source who knows Salehi and saw the letter. “But he said this letter will be registered in history.” (Reuters, 12 June)
Salehi’s bold move was opposed by President Ahmadinejad, the sources tell Reuters.
It is not clear if the initiative by Salehi has led to any serious negotiations with the U.S.
File photo: Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi (IRNA)