Reuters: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran said on Tuesday he was awaiting a reaction to a letter he sent President Bush, although U.S. officials have called it a diversion in a dispute over Tehran’s nuclear plans. TEHRAN (Reuters) – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran said on Tuesday he was awaiting a reaction to a letter he sent President Bush, although U.S. officials have called it a diversion in a dispute over Tehran’s nuclear plans.
In the letter, the first from an Iranian head of state to a U.S. president since Washington broke off relations after the 1979 Islamic revolution, Ahmadinejad said he was proposing “new ways” to resolve many problems facing humanity.
But a copy of the 18-page letter, sent on Monday, showed it focused mainly on alleged American wrongdoings and contained no ideas for ending the standoff over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Asked by reporters about the letter, Ahmadinejad said: “We will wait to see the reaction of the recipient and we will act based on the reaction.”
Ahmadinejad was speaking before leaving for Indonesia to attend a Developing Eight (D8) summit.
U.S. officials were skeptical about the purpose of the letter.
“Certainly one of the hypotheses you’d have to examine is whether and in what way the timing of the dispatch of that letter is connected with trying in some manner to influence the debate before the Security Council,” U.S. director of national intelligence John Negroponte said on Monday.
Iran has been reported to the U.N. Security Council for failing to convince the world that its nuclear program is purely for civilian purposes, as it says, and not for making weapons as the United States and other Western nations suspect.
Foreign ministers from the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany failed on Monday to reach agreement on dealing with the Iranian atomic program.
Political directors of the same countries will meet on Iran on Tuesday in New York and probably again next week.
Russia and China have been resisting a Security Council resolution sponsored by Britain and France and backed by the United States that would legally require Iran to halt uranium enrichment.