Iran responds to Barack Obama’s letter about fight against ISIS and Tehran’s nuclear ambitions
The letter writing is part of a recent thaw in relations between the two countries since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the U.S.-backed shah and the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, where 52 Americans were held hostage for more than a year. It also comes as a U.S.-led coalition battles the Islamic State of Iraq and AL-Sham group in neighbouring 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.”
Obama’s recent letter to Khamenei described a shared interest between the U.S. and Iran in fighting ISIS militants and stressed that any cooperation on that would be largely contingent on Iran agreeing to the nuclear deal, according to the Wall Street Journal. Shamkhani said the letter “mainly focused on nuclear issues.”
There was no immediate response in Washington to Shamkhani’s comments.
The talks reportedly remain stuck over the size and output of Iran’s uranium enrichment program, a technology that can be used to produce nuclear fuel or nuclear weapons and how the sanctions must be lifted.
U.S. and Iranian officials held a series of secret meetings last year that ultimately paved the way for the historic interim nuclear deal in Geneva. Obama and Iranian President Rouhani also held a historic phone call last fall, the first direct communication between their nation’s leaders since the Islamic Revolution.