June 27, 2006

Khamenei dismisses Iran-US talks

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei, said on Tuesday that talks with the United States
held no benefits for the Islamic Republic.

Washington has offered to join the European Union's direct
talks with Iran if Tehran agrees to halt its uranium enrichment
work, the key demand in a package that has the backing of six
world powers. Iran has so far no replied to that offer.

"Negotiating with America does not have any benefit for us
and we do not need such negotiations," Khamenei was quoted as
saying by state television.

On Iran's nuclear dispute with the West, Khamenei said: "We
will not negotiate with anybody our certain right to reach and
use nuclear technology. However, if they recognize this right
for us, we are prepared to talk about international controls,
supervision and guarantees, and the ground for such
negotiations have been prepared."

In March, it had looked like talks between the two
countries could go ahead after Ali Larijani, secretary of
Iran's Supreme National Security Council, said Iran would talk
to the United States to help resolve problems in Iraq.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has sanctioned
such a meeting but also said talks could only proceed if the
United States stopped its "bullying attitude."

But President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in April such talks
were not needed since a permanent Iraqi government was in