MOSCOW, November 6 (RIA Novosti) – US President Barack Obama has sent a secret letter to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urging him to back the US-led coalition against the Islamic State (IS) extremists and to cooperate on a nuclear deal, the Wall Street Journal reports.
"Mr. Obama stressed to Mr. Khamenei that any cooperation on Islamic State was largely contingent on Iran reaching a comprehensive agreement with global powers on the future of Tehran's nuclear program by a Nov. 24 diplomatic deadline," US officials said referring to Obama's October correspondence, as cited by the Wall Street Journal Thursday.
The White House did not inform its Middle East allies, including Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, about President Obama's letter in order not to upset relations with Iran, according to the officials.
The leaders of these Middle Eastern countries voiced concern over a possible US deal allowing Iran to boost the capacity to build up nuclear weapons in the future. They suspected the United States of easing its demand in the nuclear talks with Iran.
Earlier on Thursday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest refused to confirm the existence of the letter to reporters. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, officials did not "deny the letter's existence when questioned by foreign diplomats in recent days".
In October, Khamenei reportedly turned down a US proposal to cooperate on fighting against the IS.