The United States and other permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany are expected to adopt new sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear program soon, the US State Department said Monday.
The six major powers – the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany discussed a new International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran's nuclear activities and the next steps to be taken, State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said.
Top officials of the countries "reaffirmed their commitment to the dual track approach for responding to the challenge posed by Iran's nuclear program," Casey said in a statement.
"We continue to expect a vote soon on the draft sanctions resolution currently being discussed in New York," Casey said.
Britain and France introduced a draft resolution at the Security Council on Thursday. But non-permanent members South Africa, Indonesia, Libya and Vietnam have expressed reservations about the proposed resolution.
Officials of the six countries have met several times to discuss a proposed third UN Security Council resolution on Iran to punish its defiance over its nuclear programs. But the talks failed to make any significant progress.
Pushed by the United States, two UN Security Council resolutions have been passed to punish Tehran. The United States wants a third UN Security Council resolution to impose harsher punishments on Iran.
Washington has accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear program. Iran has denied the US charges and insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
(Xinhua News Agency February 26, 2008)