Obama Sent Letter to Iran Before Election

Proposed cooperation, improved relations to ayatollah in May
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2009 1:00 PM CDT
Ayatollah Khamenei speaks to parliament.   (AP Photo/Office of the Supreme Leader)
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(Newser) – A little more than a month before Iran’s disputed election, the Obama administration sent a letter to Ayatollah Khamenei proposing improved bilateral relations and a resolution to the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, the Washington Times reports. Khamenei mentioned the letter in a lengthy sermon last week, amid accusations that the US was inciting election protests. Iranian sources say the letter was sent between May 4 and 10.

In his sermon, Khamenei misquoted Obama as saying that he expected the people of Iran to protest. “On the one hand, they write a letter to us to express their respect for the Islamic Republic and for re-establishment of ties, and on the other hand they make these remarks. Which one of these remarks are we supposed to believe?” he said.