The Washington Times scores a scoop today with confirmation that President Obama sent a letter to Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei before the June 12 elections seeking what a source told the newspaper was "cooperation in regional and bilateral relations" and a resolution of the dispute over Iran's nuclear program.
Khamenei actually referenced the letter in his sermon last Friday in which he ominously affirmed the results of the disputed re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and threatened protestors with a harsh response, notes reporter Barbara Slavin. She cites this translation:
"On the one hand, they [the Obama administration] write a letter to us to express their respect for the Islamic Republic and for re-establishment of ties, and on the other hand they make these remarks. Which one of these remarks are we supposed to believe? Inside the country, their agents were activated. Vandalism started. Sabotaging and setting fires on the streets started. Some shops were looted. They wanted to create chaos. Public security was violated. The violators are not the public or the supporters of the candidates. They are the ill-wishers, mercenaries and agents of the Western intelligence services and the Zionists."
As Caroline Glick notes, that's not even close to the craziest thing Khamenei said. But you wouldn't know the extent of it from media coverage.
"The [New York] Times did not mention that Khamenei ascribed world events to a Zionist conspiracy which he believes controls the US. It similarly failed to mention his long rant against the US for the FBI's 1993 raid on David Koresh's Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas.
Had the Times - and other major media outlets - properly reported Khamenei's speech, they would have made clear to their readers that he is not a rational thinker. His view of world events is deeply distorted by his hatreds and prejudices and paranoia."
There's a spirited debate over the wisdom of Obama's outreach to Iran. Slavin's article concludes with an assessment from Iran expert Patrick Clawson, who said the President's tougher language Tuesday is a sign even Obama knows that if they ever existed, "the prospects for a successful engagement are declining."