Source AP ©

Burial of American professor allowed in Iran

American scholar is allowed to be buried in the historic Iranian city of Isfahan when he dies, as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has agreed on this.

Richard Nelson Frye, an 87-year-old professor of Iranian and Central Asian studies at Harvard University, made his request in a letter addressed directly to Ahmadinejad, the broadcasting company reported on its Web site.

"I ask the Iranian president to allow my burial in the beautiful city of Isfahan to prove the unbreakable link between the honorable Iranian and American nations," Frye was quoted as saying in his letter.

Famous for its beautiful Islamic architecture, the central Iranian city of Isfahan was the site of the country's capital twice throughout history, most recently under the Safavid dynasty in the 16th century.

In addition to praising Frye, Ahmadinejad provided some rare words of support for the U.S. in his written authorization of the burial request, which was carried by the broadcasting company's Web site.

"Both the Iranian and American nations are seekers of monotheism, justice and the beauty of pure thoughts," said the Iranian president. "While hoping for long life for this introducer of Islamic culture to other people in the world, it is necessary to arrange the realization of his wish."

Despite Ahmadinejad's frequent anti-U.S. rhetoric, he has tried to appeal to ordinary Americans in recent years. He opposed a law that required fingerprinting Americans upon their arrival in Iran and proposed direct flights between the two countries. But he failed to see either wish realized.

Iran and the U.S. have not had diplomatic relations since Washington cut its ties with Tehran after Iranian students stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979.

The U.S. accuses Iran of secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons and claims that Iran has been arming and financing Shiite Muslim militias fighting American and Iraqi troops - charges Iran denies.

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