Page last updated at 22:08 GMT, Monday, 14 December 2009

Meeting on Iran's nuclear programme cancelled

Iranian technicians at Bushehr nuclear plant (30/11/09)
Iran has said new sanctions will not affect its nuclear programme

A planned meeting of diplomats from world powers on curbing Iran's nuclear programme has been cancelled.

Envoys from the US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany had been due to meet, reportedly either in Brussels or at the Copenhagen climate conference.

Unnamed US sources told reporters China had had scheduling problems. There will now be a live conference by phone.

A US spokesman said the diplomats looked forward to continuing their consultations on how to deal with Iran.

Correspondents say the news marks a setback for efforts to present a unified front on Iran in the face of continued defiance from Tehran.

The Iranians are under UN Security Council sanctions for refusing to stop enriching uranium.

The US and France said it was time to impose new sanctions last week, after a UN report suggested that Iran was trying to defy some of the existing curbs.

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