- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 6, 2014

President Obama sent a secret letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in mid-October in the hopes of securing more cooperation in the fight against the Islamic State group.

Individuals briefed on the letter spoke to The Wall Street Journal about its contents, the paper reported Thursday. Senior White House officials declined to comment on the story, but did not deny its existence when asked about it by foreign diplomats, The Journal reported.

The letter — the fourth known to have been sent since 2009 — is said to have also stressed the importance of reaching a deal on Iran’s nuclear program by Nov. 24.

“There’s a sizable portion of [Iran‘s] political elite that cut their teeth on anti-Americanism. Whether they can manage to say ‘Yes’…is an open question,” Mr. Obama said Wednesday, The Journal reported.

Iranian military units have been operating in Iraq and Syria for months in efforts to destroy the Islamic State group, but U.S. officials say they are not coordinating with Tehran.

“We’ve passed on messages to the Iranians through the Iraqi government and Sistani saying our objective is against ISIL,” a senior U.S. official told The Journal. “We’re not using this as a platform to reoccupy Iraq or to undermine Iran.”

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