Ali Motahari

Ali Motahari, a conservative Iranian MP, has announced that the recent letter from U.S. President Barack Obama calls for “direct negotiations” with Iran’s Supreme Leader.

Iran had already confirmed that Obama sent a letter to Ayatollah Khamenei through three channels. Motahari told Fars News Agency on Wednesday: “Obama has expressed his readiness to establish talks and resolve differences between the two parties.”

The letter also states, he added, that Iran’s threatened blocking of the Strait of Hormuz would be a red line for the United States. Motahari said the first part of the letter had a tone of “threats” and the second part was “friendlier.”

In 2009, Obama also sent a letter to Ayatollah Khamenei calling for talks and negotiations, but the offer was turned down by the leader of the Islamic Republic.

Ali Akbar Valayati, a top adviser to Ayatollah Khamenei, told a press conference on Monday that there was “nothing new” in Obama’s latest letter.

Western threats to slap sanctions on Iranian oil recently prompted Iran’s vice president to raise the possibility of blocking the strategic passageway.

In response, the United States has announced that it will not allow any interruption in the strait’s daily traffic and followed that up with Obama’s letter to Ayatollah Khamenei.