From: Reuters
Published January 21, 2008 11:48 AM

World powers close to Iran resolution deal: source

PARIS (Reuters) - World power foreign ministers should agree on a new draft sanctions resolution against Iran at a meeting in Germany on January 22, a French diplomatic source said on Monday.

"The ministers should reach agreement tomorrow on a draft resolution to send to New York," the source said, declining to be named. "We are really very close to an agreement."

Foreign ministers from the United States, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany are scheduled to meet in Berlin on Tuesday to discuss a possible third U.N. sanctions resolution against Iran for refusing to halt sensitive nuclear work.

"I think we will be able to transfer a draft resolution to New York in the coming days," the source told reporters.

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Russia and China, commercial partners with Iran and long wary of increasing pressure on Tehran, have been more reluctant to impose further penalties since a U.S. intelligence report in December said Iran halted a nuclear weapons program in 2003.

Some Western diplomats have said any fresh resolution may be less harsh than what was in prospect before the report.

Tehran has repeatedly said sanctions will not force it to halt its nuclear program, which it insists is for peaceful purposes only. Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, says it wants to build a network of atomic power plants.

(Reporting by Francois Murphy, Editing by Crispian Balmer and Jon Boyle)

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