January 16, 2012
Iran confirmed today that it has received a letter from the United States concerning the strategic Strait of Hormuz. Ramin Mehmanparast, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, said the country is studying the letter and “will respond to it if it is necessary.”
“The US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, sent a letter to Mohammad Khazaie, Iran’s UN representative, which was conveyed by the Swiss ambassador, and finally Iraqi President Jalal Talabani delivered its contents to officials” in Iran, the official IRNA news agency quoted Ramin Mehmanparast as saying.
“Providing security of the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf needs a collective measure and some cross-regional countries cannot decide about it,” he added.
The contents of the letter were not revealed.
Over the weekend, Iran sent a letter to the United States indicating it had reliable information concerning the complicity of Western intelligence agencies in the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist last week. The US has denied any involvement, according to CNBC.
Foreign Policy magazine reported last week that Israel’s Mossad posed as American CIA agents in operations to recruit members of Jundallah, a terrorist group that has carried out a number of bombings, assassination attempts, and terrorist attacks in southeast Iran. The article cites six U.S. intelligence officers as sources of information.
“The officials did not know whether the Israeli program to recruit and use Jundallah is ongoing. Nevertheless, they were stunned by the brazenness of the Mossad’s efforts,” writes Mark Perry for Foreign Policy.
It is widely believed Mossad is repsonsible for the assassination campaign inside Iran.
According to Haaretz, the Sunday Times quoted an unnamed Israeli sources who claimed that the killing was conducted by Mossad and a precursor to a military strike.
Two top IDF officers, Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, have hinted Israel may be conducting the assassination campaign that has so far claimed the lives of four Iranian nuclear scientists.
Israeli president Shimon Peres, however, said Israel was not involved in the assassination of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan.
It is not clear if the issue will be raised later this week when General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, visits Israel. A military exercise, billed as the largest joint venture between the two nations, was postponed to later this year for unspecified reasons.
In recent days, the West has rolled back its rhetoric. British Foreign Secretary William Hague told Sky News television on Sunday that his government was not calling for military action. He did not rule it out, however. He denied British involvement in the killing of the Iranian nuclear scientist last week.
GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum has characterized the murder of Roshan as a “wonderful thing.” Santorum said it was wrong for the Obama administration to condemn the assassination.
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