From: Reuters
Published December 19, 2007 04:27 PM

Major powers set to discuss Iran sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Major powers are set to hold talks on Thursday to discuss a third U.N. sanctions resolution against Iran over its nuclear program, the U.S. State Department.

Senior officials from the United States, China, Russia, Germany, France and Britain will hold a conference call, State Department spokesman Tom Casey said on Wednesday.

"This will be an opportunity for them to continue their discussions about issues related to the third Security Council sanctions resolution on Iran," said Casey.

However, Casey said it was unlikely the six major powers would agree on final language for a resolution.

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"I don't think you will have an 'it's all done, let's go forward,' point coming out of this call," said Casey.

The six held a conference call last week but failed then to agree on final elements of a resolution, which so far China and Russia have been reluctant to fully support.

Two rounds of sanctions have already been imposed on Iran for failing to heed a U.N. demand that it halt uranium enrichment, a process the West believes Tehran is trying to master so it can build atomic bombs.

Iran insists it wants only fuel for power plants and that it is not building a nuclear bomb.

Earlier this month, a U.S. national intelligence estimate said Iran had stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003, an announcement that raised questions over whether a third round of U.N. sanctions was needed against Iran.

(Reporting by Sue Pleming; editing by David Wiessler)

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