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No security guarantees for Iran, says US

The US will not give Iran security guarantees in exchange for forfeiting its nuclear programme

india Updated: May 18, 2006 08:25 IST

The US will not give Iran security guarantees in exchange for forfeiting its nuclear programme, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

"That's not something from the United States that's on the table," McCormack told reporters when asked about European willingness to present Iran with incentives tied to security.

He recalled President George W Bush's oft-repeated position that no option is off the table, including the military option.

Earlier on Wednesday Iran's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad ridiculed the EU plan during a rally in Arak, Iran, saying, "They say they want to give us incentives. They think they can take away our gold and give us some nuts and chocolate in exchange."

When asked about the comment, McCormack said: "I think that once this is presented to the Iranian regime, we will have at least a better idea of what their intent is."

McCormack also said that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany would meet on Tuesday to work out a common approach on Iran.

The discussions on Iran were initially scheduled for Friday but the State Department spokesman said the six countries needed time to prepare contingency plans depending on how Iran responds to the package of incentives and penalties.

He said diplomats from the major powers were trying to "talk through" the question of "how would the international community react to either Iran agreeing to this package of incentives or rejecting this package of incentives?"

McCormack added: "And so you can understand this is complex, complicated, multilateral diplomacy."

First Published: May 18, 2006 08:25 IST