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Iranian Leader Sends Letter to Bush Suggesting 'New Solutions' to Crisis



08 May 2006

Iran says President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has sent a letter to President Bush, proposing "new solutions" to resolve tensions between their two countries. It is the first time in 26 years that there has been known communication at the highest level between Iran and the United States.

An Iranian government spokesman said President Ahmadinejad's letter to President Bush would be delivered later Monday to the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, which has handled U.S. interests in Iran since the break in U.S.-Iranian relations in 1980.

The spokesman said the letter proposed what he called "new ways of getting out of the current fragile situation of the world."

Cairo University political scientist Amal Hamada says any kind of direct communication is significant after 26 years of nothing but back channel talks.

"So if there is a chance of direct communication between the two executive leaders of the two countries, that would definitely have new hopes for new options," he said.

News of the letter came as the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany were preparing to meet in New York to discuss the standoff over Iran's nuclear program.



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