Iranian president sent letter to Obama; details not revealed

By Glenn Kessler
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 17, 2010; 2:29 PM

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent a letter to President Obama last month, the White House confirmed Saturday, although neither the United States nor Iran disclosed details about what it said.

"We are not going to get into details on the content of the correspondence at this time," said White House National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer. He added, "We have no plans to respond to the letter because there was nothing to respond to."

Ahmadinejad, who sent his letter as the Obama administration is stepping up efforts to impose new U.N. sanctions on Iran over its continued enrichment of uranium, has argued in recent days that his country holds the keys to the United States' problems.

"Mr. Obama only has one hope and that is Iran. I'm not being emotional. What I'm saying is based on logic," Ahmadinejad told Iranian television April 10. "The era when they thought they could harm Iran has ended. It has come an end."

The Iranian president also sent an 18-page letter to then-President George W. Bush in 2006 as the United States was pushing for sanctions. Ahmadinejad posted the text of that letter on his Web site, but Bush did not respond.

Iranian news media have reported that Obama has written at least twice to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Thomas Erdbrink in Tehran contributed to this report.


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