Iran General NewsPaper: Iran leader writes to Americans

Paper: Iran leader writes to Americans

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AP: Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written a letter to the American people that will be released at U.N. headquarters in New York on Wednesday, a state newspaper reported. Associated Press

By NASSER KARIMI

Associated Press Writer

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) – Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written a letter to the American people that will be released at U.N. headquarters in New York on Wednesday, a state newspaper reported.

The newspaper gave no details of the letter, an apparent attempt by the firebrand president to reach out to Americans over the head of their government.

The state-run newspaper Iran reported the letter in bold type on its front page, saying “the five-page letter to the American people will be released by Iran’s representative at the United Nations today.”

Ahmadinejad wrote a rambling, 18-page letter to President Bush in May, which Washington criticized for not addressing Iran’s nuclear program. The U.S. is leading the drive to impose U.N. sanctions on Tehran for its refusal to stop enriching uranium.

Average Iranians were disappointed by the cold response to the May letter, the first official communication between the two countries’ presidents since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Earlier this month, Ahmadinejad said he was planning to write a letter to Americans.

“Many American people asked me to talk to them in order to explain the views of the Iranian people,” Ahmadinejad told reporters, referring to his visit to New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly session in September 2005.

Ahmadinejad has alienated many Americans by calling for Israel’s destruction and repeatedly dismissing the Holocaust as a myth. He also strongly supports the Palestinian militant group Hamas and the Lebanese faction Hezbollah, which the U.S. State Department lists as terrorist organizations.

Twice this year, Iran has proposed talks with the United States over Iraq, but Ahmadinejad has said that for such negotiations to take place, Washington must change its behavior. On Sunday, he said Iran was ready to help the United States get out of the “Iraqi quagmire if the U.S. changes its bullying policy toward Iran.”

Iran and the United States have had no diplomatic relations since 1979 when, after the Islamic revolution, militants seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and kept 52 people hostage for 444 days.

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