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White House: No Security Guarantees for Iran in Nuclear Talks

The White House says security guarantees are not being considered in talks with Iran regarding its disputed nuclear program.

Speaking from Israel where he is traveling with U.S. President George Bush, White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe told VOA that the best way for Iran to guarantee its security is to stop threatening to wipe Israel off the map and to stop trying to destabilize Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon.

Earlier Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged world powers to give security guarantees to Iran to help resolve the Iranian nuclear situation. Lavrov said the powers also should ensure Tehran has a better place in Middle East negotiations.

Germany and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council - the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China - have been negotiating to end Iran's sensitive nuclear activities.

The council has passed three sets of sanctions to pressure Iran to stop enriching uranium, a process that has civilian uses but is also used to make nuclear weapons.

Iran refuses to suspend the enrichment as a precondition for any negotiations.

The United States and its Western allies accuse Iran of working to produce nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful purposes.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.