Iran faces growing pressure from the United Nations Security Council as the world body looks set to consider a new draft resolution later this week containing stronger sanctions against Tehran regarding its nuclear program.
US officials, following a closed-door meeting on Iran of diplomats from Germany and the five permanent members of the Security Council on Monday in Washington, said they expect a quick vote on a third resolution imposing expanded sanctions on Tehran.
"We continue to expect a vote soon on the draft sanctions resolution currently being discussed in New York," US State Department spokesman Tom Casey said.
The new draft was in essence based on "elements for a third sanctions resolution" agreed in January in Berlin by the Foreign Ministers of Germany, Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, only with some changes in wording.
A Security Council session is scheduled for Wednesday for members to coordinate their positions over the latest draft, distributed by Britain, France and Germany over the weekend. A vote could be held as soon as Friday.
Compared with the two previous UN Security Council resolutions on Iran, the new draft will include travel restrictions and bans for more Iranians; an expansion of asset freezes; curbs on dual-use items and export credit; financial monitoring; cargo inspections on aircraft and vessels; and possible "next steps".