The Wall Street Journal reported that Iran’s Khamenei replied to President Obama’s letter, but the Iranians have denied this.


Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has responded to overtures from U.S. President Barack Obama amid nuclear talks by sending him a secret letter, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Citing an Iranian diplomat, the newspaper said Khamenei had written to Obama in recent weeks in response to a letter sent by Obama last October. Obama’s letter reportedly suggested the possibility of American-Iranian cooperation in fighting the Islamic State terror group if a nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 powers was reached. Khamenei’s letter was “respectful” but noncommittal, the Wall Street Journal quoted the diplomat as saying.

Khamenei recently defended Iranian President Hassan Rouhani against hardline Iranian opponents of the nuclear talks with the West.

“No more than a few months have passed since the Rouhani government took office,” Khamenei said. “Authorities should be given the opportunity to push forward strongly.”