However, this is not the first time that Obama has sent letters to Khamenei [and the likes of Khamenei], nor is it the first time that he has reached out to despicable, murderous thugs. More on that subject later on in this post, but first, Obama's latest outreach.
Iranian lawmaker Ali Motahhari said Wednesday that President Obama, in his recent letter to Khamenei, "announced readiness for negotiation" and talked about facilitating friendship with the Iranian regime.
Iranian lawmaker Hojjatoleslam Hossein Ebrahimi said that Obama, in his letter, "mentioned cooperation and negotiation based on the interests of the two countries."
Ebrahimi also noted that, “[Obama] has stated in the letter that [the US] will not take any hostile action against the Islamic Republic of Iran."
"This is not the first time that Obama has sent a message and letter to the Islamic Republic of Iran," said Ebrahimi. He also noted that Obama "has repeatedly spoken in a soft tone about the Islamic Republic of Iran."
Ebrahimi asserted that, “Obama’s letter indicates that the United States has become afraid of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s might..., and therefore, he has softened his tone when speaking about the Islamic Republic of Iran."
“The important issue," said Ebrahimi, "is that without the Islamic Republic of Iran’s permission, no country can benefit from the Persian Gulf.”
In June of 2009, the Washington Times revealed that, prior to the disputed Presidential election in Iran, Obama had "sent a letter to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali khamenei, calling for an improvement in relations." The letter was sent between May 4 and May 10 and laid out the prospect of “cooperation in regional and bilateral relations." A senior Obama administration official at the time, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, would not confirm or deny that a letter had been sent to Ayatollah Khamenei.
The Boston Globe via the Seattle Times, reported on May 10, prior to the Washington Times revelation, as follows:
The Obama administration is leaning toward making a major diplomatic overture to Iran before the country's presidential elections in June, possibly in the form of a letter from President Obama to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to two senior European diplomats who have met in recent weeks with key State Department officials.'Iran's role in neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan,' heh....
The letter would be aimed at initiating talks over the Iranian nuclear program and Iran's role in neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity...
State Department acting spokesman Robert Wood told reporters: "We have offered our hand to the government of Iran, and we hope to be able to engage this government on a whole range of issues...."And, indeed they did attend the October 2010 conference [which was held in Rome].
But some European officials have long warned that a major gesture toward Iran before the June presidential election risks influencing its outcome, perhaps improving the chances of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, running for re-election.
US officials have already begun testing the waters of engagement. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that Iran would be invited to an upcoming multinational conference on Afghanistan, and Iranian officials have reportedly signaled that they will consider attending.
The New York Times reported that Mahmoud Ali Qanezadeh, a high-ranking Iranian diplomat, "even attended an in-depth briefing... by the American military commander, Gen. David H. Petraeus, on NATO’s strategy for transition in Afghanistan."
A senior U.S. official defended the Obama administration's decision to hook up with the Iranians saying: Tehran "has a role to play in the peaceful settlement of the situation" and that "for the United States today there's no problem with their presence."
Heh. Tehran "has a role to play in the peaceful settlement of the situation"? "There's no problem" in having an Iranian official in attendance at an in-depth briefing conducted by an American military commander?
In May 0f 2010, the Guardian-UK reported:
The United States is sending a succession of envoys to engage with Hamas..., its leader, Khaled Meshal [Meshaal], said in an interview with the Guardian.In May of 2009, Time Magazine reported that there had been unofficial talks between Hamas and Barack Obama's Middle East special envoy, George Mitchell.
"The Americans contact us, but are not brave enough to do so openly," said Meshal.
Similarly, an Arab news media outlet confirmed that a meeting in Geneva between two senior Hamas officials and former undersecretary of state Thomas R. Pickering, in 2009, was coordinated and promoted by the US State Department, despite the Obama administration's claims to the contrary.
Likewise, in November of 2008, Hamas spokesman Ahmed Yousef said that the Hamas leadership had been in regular contact with the Obama team [over a period of several months].
"We were in contact with a number of Obama's aides through the Internet, and later met with some of them in Gaza," Ahmed Yousef [a Political adviser to Hamas leader Ismail Haniya] was quoted as saying, "but they advised us not to come out with any statements, as that may have had a negative effect on his election campaign and be used by Republican candidate John McCain."
During the presidential campaign, Robert Malley - at the time, Obama’s Middle East policy adviser - disclosed that he had held meetings with Hamas, which prompted Obama to [supposedly] sever all links with him. However, the divorce didn't last too long, for shortly after that firing, it was reported that Obama had sent Robert Malley to Egypt and Syria to outline his policies on the Middle East.
And what were Obama's policies towards the Syrian regime?
Enerpub reported in August of 2009:
In July, according to Agence France Presse, Middle East "peace process" envoy George Mitchell told Assad he would work to speed up the process of obtaining exemptions to anti-Syrian sanctions. At the end of July, the United States announced a decision to ease sanctions on spare aircraft parts, information-technology products and telecommunications equipment.Syria's "ongoing efforts to help stabilize the situation in Iraq"? Heh...
A second delegation from Central Command arrived in August accompanied by an aide to Sen. Mitchell. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the talks were focused on Syria's "ongoing efforts to help stabilize the situation in Iraq."
Syria's deputy foreign minister, Faisal Mekdad, expressed pleasure at the changed American posture in a Wall Street Journal interview. "We received assurances that the relations between the two countries should resume on the basis of mutual interests and most importantly on the basis of mutual respect. We really welcome such a new approach...”
The AFP reported in October of 2009:
Lieutenant General Ali Ghaidan Majeed, commander of Iraqi ground forces said "what really bothers" Iraq's military brass was security along the country's borders with Iran and Syria, which he said were helping train and equip insurgents infiltrating Iraq.Likewise, in August of 2009, a Saudi Al Qaeda militant, Mohammed Hassan Al Shemari, accused Syrian intelligence agents of training foreign fighters like himself in a camp before sending them to participate in operations aimed to destabilize Iraq.
"Interference from the outside, from neighboring countries, is what is creating terrorism (in Iraq) -- terrorism came to us from the outside, it was imported," he said.
"It is pretty clear to us, and we have lots of evidence coming from those we are arresting -- the trainees are coming from camps in Syria and Iran.
"The people that we arrested, that is what they told us, that is where they were trained..."
Al Shemari said when he arrived in Syria from Saudi Arabia, he was met by a militant who took him to a training camp in Syria. The head of the camp was a Syrian intelligence agent called Abu Al Qaqaa, he said.
Reuters noted at the time that Al Shemari's claim "could worsen a row between Iraq and Syria over accusations that Syria supports Islamist militants responsible for attacks in Iraq."
"Iraq and Syria recalled their ambassadors... after Baghdad demanded Damascus hand over two alleged masterminds of bombings in Baghdad that killed almost 100 people, mainly at two government ministries..."
In February of 2009, while Sen. John Kerry was visiting the Gaza Strip, a UN official handed him a letter from Hamas to deliver to President Obama. A spokesman for Sen. Kerry told Fox News that "the Democratic senator was not aware that the letter was from Hamas when he accepted it from the UN official." However, a Palestinian daily reported at the time that the American delegation that visited Gaza brought with it a letter from President Obama to Hamas, and that the Hamas movement had authorized one of its ministers in Gaza to receive the letter and to respond.
The Obama administration has also reached out to Hezbollah:
In June of 2009, Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General, Sheikh Naim Qassem said that US officials close to the Obama administration had reached out to Hezbollah and had sought to initiate a dialog with the terrorist organization.
"Several US officials at different levels and more or less close to the administration have asked to speak with [us], but we have refused," said Qassem.
On May 18, Reuters reported as follows:
John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counter-terrorism, met with Lebanese leaders during a recent visit.During a press conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, in 2009, John Brennan offered similar words of praise for Hezbollah:
"Hezbollah is a very interesting organization," Brennan told a Washington conference, citing its evolution from "purely a terrorist organization" to a militia to an organization that now has members within the parliament and the cabinet.
"Hezbollah started out as purely a terrorist organization back in the early ’80s and has evolved significantly over time," he said. "And now it has members of parliament, in the cabinet; there are lawyers, doctors, others who are part of the Hezbollah organization."
In June of 2009, an Arab news media outlet reported that, under pressure from the United States, the Secretariat-General of the lower house of the Egyptian Parliament invited ten members of the Muslim Brotherhood parliamentary bloc to attend Barack Obama’s speech in Cairo.
One reporter speculated that Brotherhood members would be invited to a special meeting that Obama was to hold with writers, politicians and members of Egyptian civil society.
Similarly, The Atlantic cited various Middle Eastern news sources who reported that the Obama administration insisted that at least 10 members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood be allowed to attend Obama's speech in Cairo.
Scott Wheeler, director of the National Republican Trust PAC, at the time, criticized the administration for allowing the Muslim Brotherhood into the event.
"The American people did not vote for President Barack Hussein Obama to make peace with Muslim terrorists," he said in a statement.
Commentators noted at the time that President Obama never mentioned the word "terrorism" or "terror" in his speech.
In March of 2009, Hillary Clinton confirmed that the Obama administration had dropped the phrase 'war on terror' from its lexicon. The Muslim Brotherhood, however, continues to remain a crucial component of Obama's lexicon.
In April of 2009, an Egyptian news media outlet reported that President Obama [in February of '09] had met with members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The newspaper reported that Obama met the group's members, who reside in the U.S. and Europe, in Washington, and that the members requested that news of the meeting not be publicized.
Some of the current leaders of the Muslim brotherhood were ardent disciples of the notorious Sayyid Qutb, who, as the Long War Journal noted, was "the leading Islamic theologian of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and '60s who advocated armed struggle to impose Islamic law." The Long War Journal noted that Qutb "is widely, and correctly, described as the intellectual forefather of al Qaeda, which still references his writings to this day... The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood openly sided with Khomeini's revolutionaries as they overthrew the Shah of Iran."
President Obama appears to be highly complacent, extremely comfortable and exceedingly at ease reaching out to the rogue elements of the world. His pen pal relationship with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is just a small sampling of that cozy relationship.
Nevertheless, the President's recent letter to Iran's Supreme Leader apparently hit the mark, and facilitated the desired effect: Iran responded in kind by sending the President a toy drone.....
Related Post: Obama & the Gaddafi regime, a friendship gone awry