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U.S. Rules Out Security Guarantees For Iran

May 18, 2006 -- The United States says it has ruled out giving Iran security guarantees in exchange for Tehran abandoning its nuclear-fuel program.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack made the comment in response to questions about suggestions that the European Union could offer Iran incentives linked to security if Tehran halts uranium enrichment.

"From the United States' perspective, is the United States going to be providing security guarantees [to Iran]? That's not something from the United States that's on the table," McCormack said.

Earlier on May 17, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said Iran would not agree to halt uranium enrichment in exchange for a possible package of trade and technological benefits from the European Union.

Great Britain, France, and Gemany have indicated they could offer Iran a light-water nuclear reactor as part of an incentives package.

The United States and the European Union, despite Iran's denials, suspect Tehran of trying to develop nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called in Tokyo today for a cooling of the rhetoric in the standoff over Iran's nuclear program. Annan said he hopes current Security Council discussions would give momentum toward a solution.

(compiled from agency reports)

Copyright (c) 2006. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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