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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Report: Obama, Khamenei Exchange Letters

by VOA News February 14, 2015

Iran's supreme leader and the U.S. president have exchanged correspondence as the two sides try to reach a nuclear accord, according to a report in the The Wall Street Journal.

In a story posted online Friday, the Journal says Ayatollah Ali Khamenei 'has responded to overtures' from U.S. President Barack Obama.

Khamenei wrote to the U.S. leader 'in recent weeks' in response to a letter from Obama in October 'that raised the possibility of U.S.-Iranian cooperation in fighting Islamic State' if an agreement on a nuclear deal is reached, the report says.

An unidentified Iranian diplomat told The Wall Street Journal that the supreme leader's response to Obama was 'respectful,' but non-committal.

The news about an earlier letter from Khamenei to Obama has also emerged, according to the Journal. The newspaper says the earlier letter 'outlined a string of abuses' that the supreme leader felt had been committed against Iran over the last 60 years. An anonymous White House official confirmed the 2009 letter from the Iranian leader.

Neither the White House nor Iran's government has officially confirmed correspondence between the two leaders, the newspaper says.

Iran and a group that includes the United States, Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany are trying to reach a framework agreement by March 24 as part of their years-long effort to resolve questions about Iranian nuclear activity. They have given themselves until July 1 to agree to a final deal.

The so-called P5+1 group wants Iran to scale back its nuclear activity and ensure it is not developing nuclear weapons. Iran has insisted its nuclear program is peaceful and wants the repeal of sanctions that have hurt its economy.

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