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Obama Sent Secret Letter to Top Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei

The contents of the letter weren't disclosed, but The Wall Street Journal reported that it outlined a shared interest in fighting ISIS.
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President Barack Obama sent a secret letter to Iran's supreme leader, ahead of Secretary of State John Kerry's meeting this weekend with Iranian and European Union officials on Iran's nuclear program, a senior Obama administration official told NBC News on Thursday.

The contents of the letter to the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei weren't disclosed, and State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki declined to discuss it Thursday. The Wall Street Journal, which first reported its existence, quoted people it said had been briefed on the letter as saying the letter was sent last month and that it outlined a shared interest in fighting ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria.

Kerry will travel to Muscat, Oman, for trilateral meetings Sunday and Monday with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and Catherine Ashton, the E.U.'s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy. That's two weeks before a Nov. 24 deadline for Iran to reach a comprehensive deal with U.N. negotiators on an agreement to dismantle most of its nuclear centrifuges. Psaki said there was no link between the nuclear agreement and possible future coordination on the fight against ISIS.



— M. Alex Johnson and Abigail Williams