By: Mir M.Hosseini
Through the Swiss Embassy, Iran sent a letter to the US administration on May, 4th 2003.
The letter included proposal for negotiations, which suggested that Iran was willing to consider far-reaching compromises on its nuclear program, relations with Hezbollah and Hamas and support for a Palestinian peace agreement with Israel as part of a larger peace agreement with the United States. However, this letter has become a contentious issue between the Bush administration and its critics.
Although the US State Department received it by fax, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denied in Congressional testimony that she had seen the Iranian offer in 2003 and chastised former State Department, National Security Council and Central Intelligence Agency official for having failed to bring it to her attention at the time.
The courageous Iranian proposal was drafted by the Iranian Ambassador in Paris Sadegh Kharrazi, in consultation with Swiss Ambassador in Tehran Tim Guldimann but only after extensive discussions between Kharrazi and the three top figures in Iranian foreign policy: Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, then President Mohammad Khatami and his Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi.
It is not clear why the US administration ignored this great chance to restore diplomatic ties with Iran but it is certain that not everyone in Washington is always a truth-teller. Besides, there are outer circles well above the US administration that have a good grip on crucial world matters beyond general public optimistic well-wishing.