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January 29, 2009

Guardian: Obama administration writing letter to Iran

The Obama administration is preparing to send a letter to the Iranian people as part of an effort to thaw U.S.-Iran relations and to open the door to further talks, the Guardian is reporting. The letter comes in response to a letter sent by Ahmadinejad after President Obama won the November election, but the response will bypass the Iranian President. According to the Guardian report, the letter will be addressed to the Iranian people and will be sent directly to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, or will be released as an open letter.
The letter is now being reviewed by Secretary of State Clinton, and is part of a wider policy shift being considered by the Obama administration. The letter reportedly will state that the United States will not try to overthrow the Iranian regime but wants a change in the behavior of the Iranian government.
The President has been striking the right tone while talking about Iran recently, especially during his interview on al Arabiya. He respectfully said “the Iranian people are a great people, and Persian civilization is a great civilization,” before describing the Iranian policies that stand in the way of improved relations. It’s a welcome change from the tone-deaf approach of the previous administration, which strengthened Iranian hardliners with  infamous statements, such as calling Iran part of an “Axis of Evil” while Iran was assisting the United States in Afghanistan.
Further details on the letter can be found here.

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