Dear Mr. Ahmadinejad,
I learnt of your letter to me when my chief of staff Emanuel Rahm informed me that we had to send three dollars to the post office to cover the postage [due]. Next time, please put enough stamps on the letters you send me. I had a hard time with my wife, Michelle, over this. She asked why we had to pay postage due on a letter from someone who calls us 'the Great Satan' and collaborates with the likes of Hugo Chavez. You know that in the States, it's the wives who have the last word. It's not like in your country, where one can shut them up by giving them a sharp whack over the head.
Dear Mahmoud, I hate to tell you that your letter caused us quite a bother. The White House translators couldn't or wouldn't translate it, saying it was a job for the department of religious propaganda. Eventually we had to ask for the help of our friends the Israelis who know Persian better than us and even maintain trade relations with you guys on the quiet.
In your letter, you congratulated me on 'taking' the majority of the votes in the election, which I found quite puzzling. You should know that, in the U.S., presidential candidates do not 'take' votes but receive them from the public. People here do not go to bed on the night [of the election] and then wake up in the morning to find out who has seized the presidency... I have been told that, in one of your elections, a candidate took an afternoon nap, only to discover that, [while he was sleeping,] he had been eliminated from the running and someone else had won the election. Is that a true story?
Mahmoud, darling, in another part of your letter you asked my country to pursue a policy based on 'justice, respect for the rights of human beings and nations, friendship and non-intervention in the affairs of others.' Frankly, this surprised me, because if you are alluding to executions, you guys execute as many people as we do. However, in this country, a capital case is debated for 17 years on average, while in your country, 17 is the age of some of those who are executed... As for intervention in the affairs of others, [you have a point:] We Americans do invest considerable funds [in Afghanistan] in order to enable the children there to attend school. [We also invest funds] in order to prevent Russia from imposing its will on Georgia, and so on. But you guys also intervene in the affairs of others – only instead of sending children to school you strap explosive belts around their waists. A few days ago, the media reported that a three-month-old baby had joined an [Iranian] suicide squad.
Dear Mahmoud, I have no patience to read nonsense and respond to it, so next time you feel like talking to me, please call me on the phone – only please don't make it collect.
- excerpts from www.khandaniha.com, November 11, 2008.