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6 powers agree on Iran sanctions
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Representatives from the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany on Friday agreed to submit to UN Security Council a draft resolution reaffirming existing sanctions on Iran.

"We circulated a very short, succinct draft resolution reaffirming previous decisions, and calling on Iran to comply by its obligations under its previous Security Council resolutions and IAEA board of governors' decisions," US Deputy Ambassador Alejandro Wolff told reporters.

Wolff said that it is important for the council to signal its "unity" after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released its most recent report on Iran.

Russia's UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin confirmed that the draft contained no new sanctions and was just "a reconfirmation of previous resolutions on the Iranian nuclear issue".

Churkin said that it is "not timely" for the council to slap new sanctions on Iran because "we think that more discussions are necessary with the Iranians and that there is still room for diplomacy here."

According to an IAEA report released on Monday, due to Tehran's block, the UN nuclear watchdog had been unable to make much progress in investigating Iran's suspect nuclear program.

The United States and its allies have accused Iran of developing nuclear weapons, but Iran insists that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shrugged off international sanctions threat on Thursday. "Whatever they do, Iran will continue its activities. Sanctions are not important," he told a news conference. "The era of such threats has ended."

Iran till now has been under three UN sanctions over its disputed nuclear program.

(Xinhua News Agency September 27, 2008)

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