New Draft Sanctions Due for Iran

PARIS -- Foreign ministers of several world powers should agree on a new draft sanctions resolution against Iran at a meeting in Germany on Jan. 22, a French diplomatic source said Monday.

"The ministers should reach an agreement tomorrow on a draft resolution to send to New York," the source said, declining to be identified.

He would not give details on the resolution but said it would be "very balanced, very firm" and likely be presented to the UN Security Council for debate by the end of the month.

"We are really very close," he said.

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 United Nations sanctions resolution against Iran for refusing to halt sensitive nuclear work.

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 not be as harsh as what loomed before the report.

Tehran has repeatedly said sanctions will not 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.