U.S. rejects security guarantees for Iran


WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday that President Bush was "not going to take any option off the table" to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and she rejected the notion of offering security guarantees if Tehran would halt its uranium enrichment program.

"Iran is a troublemaker in the international system, a central banker of terrorism. Security assurances are not on the table," Rice told Fox News Sunday, one of two appearances on the Sunday news shows in which she discussed Iran.

For now, she said, the United States will continue to work within the U.N. Security Council to confine Iran's nuclear ambitions to the development of electricity for civilian use.

"The president's not going to take any option off the table, but we believe this is something that can be resolved diplomatically," Rice said on NBC's Meet the Press. "We have many steps yet to take, and Iran ... can really not stand the kind of international isolation that could be brought upon it if [its leaders] don't find a way to change course."

The Iranian government said yesterday that it would not trust any offer of security guarantees, the Reuters news agency reported.

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