White House/Pete Souza

Although the U.S. and Iran have no official diplomatic ties, the most powerful men in each country have apparently decided to cut out the middle men and women.

According to CBS News, President Obama has been writing Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei about such topics as their shared enemy, the Islamic State, and Iran’s nuclear program.

The secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council went on state television to say this isn’t the first time Iran has responded to letters from Obama, although he didn’t confirm it was the Supreme Leader, himself, who responded.

Relations between the two countries have improved since more moderate presidents — Obama in the U.S. and Hasan Rowhani in Iran — were elected to office.

But a big test of the so-called thaw looms, with a Nov. 24 deadline for nuclear negotiations about to land.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig