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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 December 2007, 19:14 GMT
Powers 'to seek Iran sanctions'
Saeed Jalili in Tehran (1 December 2007)
Mr Jalili said Tehran expected a "positive report" from the EU
The six countries dealing with Iran's controversial nuclear programme are to begin drawing up a new UN resolution calling for sanctions, a diplomat says.

The five permanent UN Security Council members, along with Germany, have been meeting in Paris to discuss the issue.

Western powers suspect Iran of enriching uranium to build nuclear weapons, but Iran says its programme is entirely peaceful.

Recent talks between the EU and Iran on the issue failed to break the deadlock.

'Disappointing'

"We have elements that allow us to think that we will have a resolution [on sanctions against Iran] in the short-term," said an unnamed French diplomat after the Paris talks.

The Iranian nation will not accept anything that goes beyond the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty
Saeed Jalili
Iranian nuclear negotiator

The six nations had agreed in September to delay imposing sanctions on Iran until they had received reports on Iran's nuclear programme from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the EU's foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

The IAEA report found Iran was co-operating, but not proactively, and Mr Solana declared that his meeting with Iranian negotiators had been "disappointing".

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said Iran was not to blame for the failure of the EU talks.

Speaking at Tehran airport on his return from the UK, Mr Jalili said he expected Mr Solana to present a "positive report" to the UN about Iran's nuclear programme.

Moment of truth

The UN first imposed sanctions in December 2006, when it ordered all member states not to supply Iran with any materials or technology that could be used in nuclear enrichment activities or in the development of nuclear weapons.

Bushehr nuclear reactor
Iran says its programme is for purely peaceful purposes

In March, the UN sought to tighten the squeeze on Iran's nuclear and missile programmes by preventing dealings with the state Bank Sepah and 28 named people and organisations, many connected to the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps.

The BBC's diplomatic correspondent, Jonathan Marcus, says a moment of truth is fast approaching.

Many countries have said they do not like Iran's nuclear activities, but so far, he says, they have taken only limited collective steps to register their displeasure.

Some commentators still believe that tough economic action could concentrate minds in Tehran, and without a serious effort on the economic front they fear that those voices in Washington pushing for military action against Iran's nuclear installations may begin to gain the upper hand, he adds.



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