Obama sent secret letter to Iran Ayatollah urging country to work with US in fight against ISIS

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Obama Wrote Secret Letter to Iran's Ayatollah About The Islamic State
By RYAN GORMAN

President Barack Obama reportedly wrote a secret letter last month to Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei looking to partner in the fight against ISIS terrorists.

Obama's letter came as Iran's deal for coming to an agreement with world leaders on its nuclear program inches closer, and appeared to also be an effort to gently push the country towards that effort, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

This was Obama's fourth olive branch extended toward the Iranian regime since assuming office in 2009, according to previous reports.

Obama's letter is seen by the Journal as a signal to the rest of the world that America sees Iran as important to the fight against ISIS – either as friend or foe.

Obama recently voiced concern the tentatively agreed-to nuclear agreement might fall apart as the deadline draws near.

"There's a sizable portion of the political elite that cut their teeth on anti-Americanism," Mr. Obama said regarding Iran during a Wednesday press briefing. "Whether they can manage to say 'Yes'... is an open question."

It also came only weeks before a largely anti-Iranian Republican majority was voted into control in the Senate.

Democrats have also recently voiced concern over agreeing to such a deal, with Sens. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., even introducing bi-partisan legislation aimed at blocking an agreement.

"The best way to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon is to quickly pass the bipartisan Menendez-Kirk legislation-not to give the Iranians more time to build a bomb," Kirk told the Journal.

Exact details of the letter were not disclosed to the Journal, and it is not clear if Khamenei directly responded.

"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."

Previous attempts by the president to communicate with Iran have had mixed results.

Obama shared a 15-minute phone call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shortly after he was elected in September 2013 to replace the bombastic Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Secret talks with Iran starting in 2012 and lasting into 2013 are believed to have led to the nuclear deal whose deadline is quickly approaching. American allies were not made aware of the talks until the late stages.

Two letters sent by Obama in the first few months of 2009 were not replied to directly by Khamenei, but through a go-between, according to later reports.

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Obama sent secret letter to Iran Ayatollah urging country to work with US in fight against ISIS
In this picture released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, center, attends a graduation ceremony of army cadets, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Oct. 5 2013. Iran's top leader hinted Saturday that he disapproved of the phone call between Presidents Hassan Rouhani and Barack Obama during the Iranian leader's trip to New York last month, but he reiterated his crucial support for the president's policy of outreach to the West. (AP Photo/Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader)
US President Barack Obama speaks during the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly at the United Nations in New York on September 24, 2014. Obama on Wednesday urged Iran to seize the 'historic opportunity' of reaching a deal with world powers on its contested nuclear program. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, center, attends a graduation ceremony of army cadets, accompanied by Revolutionary Guard commander Mohammad Ali Jafari, left, Chief of the General Staff of Iran's Armed Forces, Hasan Firouzabadi, second left, and army commander Ataollah Salehi, right, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Oct. 5 2013. Iran's top leader hinted Saturday that he disapproved of the phone call between Presidents Hassan Rouhani and Barack Obama during the Iranian leader's trip to New York last month, but he reiterated his crucial support for the president's policy of outreach to the West. A portrait of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, hangs in the background. (AP Photo/Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader)
*** FILE *** Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is shown in Tehran, Iran, in this Friday March 14, 2008 file photo. Khamenei has dismissed overtures from U.S. President Barak Obama Saturday March 21, 2009, saying Tehran doesn't see any change in American policy toward its government. (AP photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian, File)
US President Barack Obama waves as he awards the Medal of Honor to Army First Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing, given to relative Helen Loring Ensign, 85, of Palm Desert, California for conspicuous gallantry at the White House in Washington, DC on November 6, 2014. Cushing awarded posthumously for his actions while serving as commanding officer of Battery A, 4th United States Artillery, Artillery Brigade, 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac during combat operations in the vicinity of Cemetery Ridge, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on July 3, 1863. AFP PHOTO/YURI GRIPAS (Photo credit should read YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech during a ceremony to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of the founder of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in Tehran on June 4, 2009. Khamenei fired a fresh salvo at arch-foe the United States, saying it is deeply hated in the Middle East, just as US President Barack Obama prepared to address the world's Muslims in a much-anticipated address in Cairo. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Lebanese Shiites Muslim supporters of Hezbollah carry posters of the Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, and the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini during a rally, ahead of Ashoura day in the southern village of Seksakiyeh, Lebanon, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014. Shiites mark Ashoura, the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharam, to commemorate the Battle of Karbala in the 7th century when Imam Hussein, a grandson of Prophet Muhammad, was killed in present-day Iraq. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)
US President Barack Obama speaks as he awards the Medal of Honor to Army First Lieutenant Alonzo Cushing, given to relative Helen Loring Ensign, 85, of Palm Desert, California for conspicuous gallantry at the White House in Washington, DC on November 6, 2014. Cushing awarded posthumously for his actions while serving as commanding officer of Battery A, 4th United States Artillery, Artillery Brigade, 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac during combat operations in the vicinity of Cemetery Ridge, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on July 3, 1863. AFP PHOTO/YURI GRIPAS (Photo credit should read YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)
In this picture released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in a meeting with Iranian ambassadors in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. Khamenei on Wednesday dismissed the value of direct talks with the U.S., his first comments touching on meetings that officials from the Islamic Republic had with Americans dating back to secret talks that began in 2012. (AP Photo/Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader)
US President Barack Obama speaks during the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly at the United Nations in New York on September 24, 2014. Obama on Wednesday urged Iran to seize the 'historic opportunity' of reaching a deal with world powers on its contested nuclear program. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
In this photo released by an official website of the Iranian supreme leader's office, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during a meeting in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Iran's supreme leader underwent prostate surgery on Monday at a government hospital in Tehran, state media said in a rare report on the state of health of the country's top cleric. The 75-year-old, who has final say on all state matters in Iran and has been the country's top leader since 1989, was reported to be recovering. (AP Photo/Office of the Supreme Leader)
President Barack Obama listens to a question during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, in Washington. Obama says it is "an open question" whether international negotiators and Iran can reach a deal over Tehran's nuclear program. He says that with a deadline looming, the next three to four weeks will be key. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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