TEHRAN, May 8 (AFP): Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written a letter to US President George W. Bush to "propose new ways" to resolve tensions while Iran's top nuclear negotiator went to Turkey Monday as part of Iranian efforts to try to rally support among the neighbours.
"President Ahmadinejad has written a letter to George Bush, which is to be handed to the Swiss embassy," Gholam Hossein Elham told reporters.
It is the first time an Iranian president has been known to officially communicate with an American president since Washington and Tehran cut off diplomatic relations in 1980.
"In this letter, while analysing the world situation and finding the roots of the problems, he has proposed new ways for getting out of the existing vulnerable world situation," the spokesman said.
The United States and Iran are at loggerheads over Tehran's nuclear programme which Washington suspects is a cover for ambitions to build atomic weapons.
Washington also accuses Iran of supporting "terrorist" groups across the Middle East region.
Washington has not had diplomatic relations with Iran since April 1980 following Islamic revolution.
The Swiss government assumed the representation of US interests in Iran in 1981, and has since been acting as a conduit for messages between the two arch-enemies.
Meanwhile, Iran's top nuclear negotiator arrived in Turkey Monday as part of Iranian efforts to try to rally support among the country's neighbours as tensions with the United States grow over the country's nuclear programme.
Ali Larijani arrived in Ankara, a few days after he met with the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, where he sought to ease the Gulf neighbours' fears about Iran's nuclear intentions and urge Gulf intervention to ease the rising tensions.
Larijani is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Yigit Alpogan, head of the National Security Council.
The trip comes as the United States is pushing to isolate Iran if it does not suspend its uranium enrichment activities and allow the monitoring of its nuclear programme. Washington believes Tehran's nuclear activities are aimed at creating nuclear weapons, although Iran insists its programme is peaceful and aimed only at producing energy.
NATO member Turkey, which shares a border with Iran, has so far taken a middle-of-the-road approach, defending Iran's right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes but also calling on the country to "be transparent."
On Monday, Turkey was expected to urge Iran to cooperate with the international community, Turkish officials said.