ts been nearly three months now since Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad offered a congratulatory letter to then-President-elect Barack Obama. The move was seen as one of the most significant overtures toward better relations between the two countries in years, though hope for a change was somewhat silenced by Obama publicly lashing out at the Iranian government days later. Still, a formal answer to the letter has yet to be offered.
But that may soon be changing. The Obama Administration has reportedly written at least three versions of a potential letter to be sent in response to the letter. The letters may open up the possibility to significantly improve ties between the two nations for the first time since the Iranian Revolution.
One of the draft letters urges Iran to compare its standard of living to its neighbors… perhaps not the best course of action considering it borders both Iraq and Afghanistan, whose economies have been obliterated by American occupations. All reportedly offer assurance that the administration does not intend to oust the Iranian government, but simply to alter its behavior. This would be a significant change in US policy, which has more or less openly sought regime change in Iran for the past 30 years.
Yet the State Department is still trying to decide what tack it wants to take on Iran, so when they decide to release such a letter or indeed if they decide to release a letter at all, remains to be seen.