Iran Nuclear NewsUS not asked to give Iran security guarantee: Rice

US not asked to give Iran security guarantee: Rice

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Reuters: European powers have not asked the United States to provide security guarantees to Iran as part of a package the West is preparing to offer the Islamic republic to curb its nuclear programs, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Sunday. WASHINGTON (Reuters) – European powers have not asked the United States to provide security guarantees to Iran as part of a package the West is preparing to offer the Islamic republic to curb its nuclear programs, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Sunday.

Rice made her remark in a Fox News interview at a time when, according to some diplomats, Europe wants the United States to back some kind of security framework in nuclear talks with Iran despite Washington’s insistence it will not provide a security guarantee.

“We haven’t been asked to provide security assurances,” Rice said.

The United States, which says it is focused on a finding a diplomatic solution to an impasse with Iran, has refused to rule out a military strike to stop what it believes is the country’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon. Iran says its programs are peaceful.

Britain, Germany and France have for years been leading fruitless negotiations with Iran, with support from the United States.

After the United States failed this month to get a tough U.N. resolution against Iran for its nuclear programs, Europe agreed to come up with a new package of incentives and threats in the negotiations.

That has meant some diplomats have sought a way of offering a security guarantee to Iran if the country limits its programs. But the idea has been crimped by U.S. reluctance, according to officials from nations involved in the talks.

Even though the United States does not want to offer its own guarantee, Europe may still find a formula that allows for some security pledge to Iran, political analysts have said.

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