Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on President Obama to unfreeze some $2 billion in Iranian foreign currency reserves that were seized from bank accounts in New York earlier in 2016. On April 20, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a judgement that held Iran financially responsible for terrorist attacks dating back to the 1983 Marine Corps barracks bombing in Beirut. The court ruled 6-2 in favor of more than 1,300 relatives of the 241 service members who were killed in Lebanon as well as other victims of attacks that courts have linked to Iran, such as the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia. Iran has since appealed the decision to the International Court of Justice.
In a letter made public on August 8, Ahmadinejad urged Obama to return the money to Iran. In recent months, however, Ahmadinejad’s name has been posited as a possible challenger to President Hassan Rouhani, who is up for reelection in May 2017. A poll conducted by the University of Maryland and IranPoll.com found that in a contest between the two, Ahmadinejad would garner 37 percent of the vote while Rouhani would garner 45 percent of the vote. This is not the first time Ahmadinejad has written to a U.S. president. While in office, he wrote to President George W. Bush in 2006. The following is a translation of his letter to President Obama via Tasnim News Agency.
In the Name of God, The Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful
Praise belongs to God, the Lord of heavens and earth, and God's peace and mercy be upon the seal of prophets, Mohammad and his pure progeny, and upon all prophets and messengers of God.
O' God, hasten the blessed advent of your savior, and bestow upon him health and triumph, and upon us by being among his best supporters, as well as those who heed for being sacrificed ahead of him.
President Barack Hussein Obama
The White House
His Excellency Mr. President
You took office as the president of the United States amidst a climax in global frustration and protests from nations, following several decades of hegemonic policies and behavior of consecutive US administrations. Your campaign slogan was 'change' and you claimed to be determined to change those policies as well as behaviors, recognize nations' rights and show respect for other nations' cultures and independence.
It is with great regret that your explicitly announced undertakings, mentioned above, including your public as well as written announcements to mend ties with the Iranian nation and to make compensation for about sixty years of oppression and cruelty by different American governments against the Iranian nation were never fulfilled, whatsoever the cause, and the same hostile policies along with the same trend of enmity were pursued, in alternative ways.
Although, it was expected that during your term in office compensation for the past would have been remedied, or at least any new instance of cruel behavior against the Iranian nation would have been prevented, I am afraid that manifold problems were created from which I am going to raise but a particular one that occurred recently.
On June 9, 2014, a court in America, based on unfounded claims without presenting any reliable documents, issued a sentence based on which about two billion Dollars of the Iranian nation's assets would be seized unlawfully which is an obvious instance of transgression. This sentence was later on upheld by the American judiciary system on April 20, 2016 and consequently those assets were seized, which has raised widespread public protests among the Iranian people nationwide.
It is the clear expectation of the Iranian nation that the particular case of property seizure, which fully occurred during your term in office, and actually toward the end of the term, and which is counter to all international legal principles and rules, be quickly fixed by your excellency and that not only the Iranian nations right be restored, and the seized property released and returned, but also the damages caused be fully compensated for.
Though I believe the Iranian nation will itself restore its right, I passionately advise you not to let the historical defamation and bitter incident be recorded under your name, within the framework of unilateral and unjustified relations of the two states, hence deepening the historical distrust.
My letter is by no means of political nature, but merely from the standpoint of humanitarian rights and for protecting the inalienable rights of my nation and should you have read it up to here from a political point of view, I would recommend reading this all over from the perspective I am taking while I'm writing this down.
Best wishes for the health and well-being of all nations