President Obama wouldn’t comment on whether he’s received a reply to the letter he wrote to Ayatollah Khamenei last month.
“I tend not to comment on any communications that I have with various leaders,” he told CBS in an interview broadcast Sunday. “I have got whole bunch of channels where we’re communicating to various leaders around the world.”
Khamenei republished on his website a op-ed on the letter published in Kayhan newspaper, an outlet close to the regime. “Iran does not trust America. Underneath their velvet gloves, they have hidden iron hands,” the op-ed quoted the ayatollah previously saying.
Obama acknowledged to CBS that on the nuclear talks “there’s still a big gap. We may not be able to get there.”
“We have now had significant negotiations. They have abided by freezing their program and, in fact, reducing their stockpile of nuclear-grade material — or weapons-grade nuclear material,” the president said.
“And the question now is, are we going to be able to close this final gap, so that they can reenter the international community, sanctions can be slowly reduced, and we have verifiable, lock-tight assurances that they can’t develop a nuclear weapon?”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said the letter “tells you how delusional the president is about the world he’s supposed to be managing here.”
“To suggest a military alliance between us and Iran is insane. ISIL will take this as the greatest recruiting opportunity in the history of the organization,” Graham told Fox. “You’re talking about radical Sunnis who now cannot only fight the Great Satan, American, but the great heretic, the Iranian Shias. It is dumb at every level. Sunni Arabs would rebel with this alliance. Israel would not accept this. The people in Syria would see us joining with Iran, the group that’s helping Assad stay in power to kill them. It’s dumb at every level.”
“But the biggest mistake is yet to come and that is a bad deal with the Iranian government over their nuclear program. To suggest that the nuclear program should be part of another alliance is ridiculous. I fear more than anything else that President Obama is going to do a deal with Iran. He wants a deal way too badly over their nuclear program that’s going to wind up being just like North Korea. A small enrichment program monitored by the U.N. that one day leads to a weapon,” the senator continued.
“That’s why I’m going to insist to Senator McConnell and Senator Reed that any deal with Iran regarding their nuclear program come to the Senate so we can look at it and vote on it. If it’s a good deal, I vote yes. If it’s a bad deal, I will kill it. And the president doesn’t want the deal to come to the Senate. Well, we need to pass legislation making it come to the Senate.”
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) November 10, 2014