'Khamenei would approve Iran-US relations if deemed beneficial'

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Thursday that he was willing to improve relations with the United States but that now was not the right moment because it would bring no benefits to the Persian nation. Washington-Teheran diplomatic relations were severed after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the US Embassy takeover by militants in Teheran. "I would be the first one to support these relations," state radio quoted Khamenei as saying at a student group meeting in the central Iranian province of Yazd. "We never said the severed relations were forever," added Khamenei, who has final say in all state matters. "But for the time being, it (restoring ties) is harmful and we should not pursue it."