Mehr News Agency, Islamic Republic of Iran

Mehr News Agency, Islamic Republic of Iran

Details Emerge of President Obama's Letter to Tehran


Days ago it was revealed that President Obama had sent a letter to Tehran warning of the danger of an Iranian shut-down of the Straight of Hormuz, through which a large portion of the world's oil passes. According to this news item from Iran's state-controlled Mehr News Agency, a number of Iranian officials privy to its contents have spoken to the press.


January 18, 2011


Islamic Republic of Iran- Mehr News Agency - Original Article (English)

TEHRAN: A number of Iranian officials have released details of a letter 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.


Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparsat said on January 15 that U.S. officials had indeed handed the Islamic Republic a message through three officials, noting, “U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice delivered a letter to the Islamic Republic’s U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee; the Swiss ambassador to Tehran [Livia Leu Agosti]; and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who then conveyed the message to Islamic Republic officials as well.”


Obama calls for negotiations


On Wednesday, Majlis Member Ali Motahhari said, “In the letter, it was stated that ‘closing the Strait of Hormuz is our red line,’ and they requested direct negotiations. … Obama expressed a readiness for negotiation and a resolution of our mutual disagreements.”


Motahhari went on to say that Obama uttered threats in the first half of the letter and spoke of friendship and negotiation in the second.


Obama says U.S. will not take hostile action against Iran


Also on Wednesday, Majlis Member Hojjatoleslam Hossein Ebrahimi said, “Obama’s letter has several parts. Part of it is about this, namely that all countries have the right to use international waterways - and that all countries should benefit from them. And in the letter, he described this as America's red line.”



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Ebrahimi, deputy chairman of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, told the Nasimonline, “Obama mentioned cooperation and negotiation based on mutual interest. He stated that they [the U.S.] will take no hostile action against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”  



Ebrahimi added, “This isn't the first time Obama has sent the Islamic Republic a message and letter. He has repeatedly spoken about Iran in soft tones, but in practice he has acted differently. … Obama’s letter suggests that the U.S. has grown afraid of the military might of the Islamic Republic and that has realized the futility of having an arrogant spirit. That is why Obama has softened his tone when speaking about the Islamic Republic of Iran."


Ebrahimi also said, “The important issue here is that without the permission of the Islamic Republic of Iran, no country can benefit from the Persian Gulf.”


Iran responsible for maintaining security of Persian Gulf


Expediency Discernment Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaii also commented on the letter on Wednesday, saying, Mr. Obama has written a cunning letter that intended to claim that the U.S. is responsible for maintaining security in the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, when it is Iran that is responsible for maintaining security in this region.”


“With the help of other nearby countries, we maintain security in the region,” he said, adding, “There is no need for the presence of extra-regional forces. … We believe that the presence of the United States and Britain creates and does not diminish insecurity.”


If they “feel compassion” for countries in this region and wants to help them enhance security, “I would advise them to leave,” Rezaii said.



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