Ayatollah says he approves of Iraq talks with US

Supreme Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tuesday that he approves of proposed talks between US and Iranian officials on Iraq, but warned that the United States must not try to "bully" Iran. It was the first confirmation that Khamenei, who holds final say on all state matters in Iran, is in favor of the talks. His comments came as US President George W. Bush said Tuesday that he favors the talks, in which he said American officials would show Iran "what's right or wrong in their activities inside of Iraq." Khamenei said that "if the Iranian officials can make the US understand some issues about Iraq, there is no problem with the negotiations." "But if the talks mean opening a venue for bullying and imposition by the deceitful party (the Americans), then it will be forbidden," he said in a speech in the northeastern city of Mashhad, aired on state television.