On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported that President Obama wrote a secret letter to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei last month. In it, the president urged that the two countries work together on battling their mutual foe, ISIS, and also reportedly pushed for a long-term deal over Iran's disputed nuclear program. The negotiations over the latter are set to end on November 24 and are reportedly not going well.
The White House, when asked about the letter, did not deny its existence, but also would not comment on it. On Thursday afternoon, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters:
"I'm not in a position to discuss private correspondence between the president and any world leader. I can tell you that the policy that the president and his administration have articulated about Iran remains unchanged."
There are a number of particulars about this revelation that will likely become the subject of opinion pieces in the coming days. One will be the apparent linkage between striking a nuclear deal and the cooperation with Iran in the fight against ISIS. According to The Wall Street Journal, the letter emphasized "any cooperation on Islamic State was largely contingent on Iran reaching a comprehensive agreement."