The Slate website reports today (November 6, 2014) that President Barack Obama secretly wrote Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in mid-October and described a shared interest in fighting Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq and Syria, according to people briefed on the correspondence.
The letter appeared aimed both at buttressing the IS campaign and nudging Iran's religious leader closer to a nuclear deal. Khamenei holds the highest office in Iran for life.
Current relations between the U.S. and Iran are not nearly as bad as they've been in the past, and U.S. officials say this is not the first time Obama has secretly written to Khamenei.
The two countries are involved in nuclear negotiations, and Iran's current president (Hassan Rouhani) is a relative moderate whose election is believed to indicate a desire by Iranian citizens to reconnect with the rest of the world.