Ayatollah bans bilateral talks with US Iran


Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has killed off hopes for early talks with the US by forbidding officials in Tehran from holding bilateral negotiations with Washington.

"Negotiating . . . will not solve any problems," Mr Khamenei told air force commanders who had gathered yesterday as part of anniversary celebrations of the 1979 revolution.

"If some people want American rule to be established again in Iran, and are turning a blind eye to the country's national interests and independence in order to please Americans, then the nation will confront them," he said.

The warning came days after US vice-president Joe Biden said Washington would be prepared for direct talks with Iran if Mr Khamenei showed seriousness. - (Guardian service)