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Six world powers agree on new Iran sanctions

/ Source: The Associated Press

The U.N. Security Council's permanent members and Germany agreed Tuesday on the contents of a new draft resolution against Iran after talks on its nuclear program, the German foreign minister said.

Diplomats said it would focus on strengthening and expanding existing sanctions.

"We agreed together today on the contents of such a resolution," Frank-Walter Steinmeier said after meeting his counterparts from the U.S., France, Britain, Russia and China.

"Germany, France and Great Britain will submit a draft resolution to the Security Council," where it could be discussed with the remaining council members over the coming weeks, he said. Officials said that all six in attendance at the two-hour meeting would vote for the resolution.

The Security Council already has imposed two rounds of sanctions over Iran's defiance of international demands that it suspend uranium enrichment.

A European diplomat and a U.S. official, both speaking of condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the resolution would expand existing sanctions. But the European diplomat said it would not feature new economic sanctions.

"It increased the severity of the sanctions, and it expands the sanctions in some of the categories," the U.S. official said.

Full text to be presented
The U.S. official referred specially to travel bans and asset freezes, but said the group agreed not to release the full text of the agreement until it had been distributed to the rest of the Security Council in the coming days.

"This is a swift reminder to the Iranians that they are not in compliance," the U.S. official said.

"This resolution builds on the last two resolutions ... (and) it has some new elements that will be unveiled in New York," the U.S. official said.

Steinmeier said that "we appeal jointly with all urgency to the leadership in Tehran to comply without reservation with the demands of the Security Council" and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

"Tehran has it in its power to seek the path of cooperation and reconciliation," he said.

Incentives offered to Iran
Steinmeier stressed that "we jointly stand behind the double approach" that the international community has so far taken, of offering Iran incentives to give up enrichment, but also demanding that it comply with the international community's demands.

Steinmeier read out a brief statement in the presence of his fellow ministers. The group then left without taking questions.

Earlier Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said his country opposed the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and promised cooperation with the IAEA.

"Iran's cooperation with the IAEA will help (with) clarifying issues linked to the past of Iran's nuclear activities," Mottaki told reporters during a visit to Sofia, Bulgaria. "After clarifying these matters, there will be more opportunities for discussions with the European Union countries on this and other issues."

Earlier in January, IAEA director Mohammed Elbaradei visited Tehran, and Iran agreed to answer all remaining questions over its nuclear activities in the few weeks after that.