Iran Nuclear NewsU.S. sees progress, but more work, on Iran sanctions

U.S. sees progress, but more work, on Iran sanctions

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ImageReuters: The United States and its allies are making progress on drafting new U.N. sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, but there is still work to do to reach a final document, a top U.S. official said on Friday. ImageWASHINGTON, April 30 (Reuters) – The United States and its allies are making progress on drafting new U.N. sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, but there is still work to do to reach a final document, a top U.S. official said on Friday.

"We're going to continue our efforts in New York and in capitals through the beginning of next month and as long as it takes to get a strong and sound resolution passed," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said.

Rice said talks among the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China — along with Germany were taking place with "significant pace and intensity."

"I think they have yielded progress and we have some continued work to do. But I think they are worthwhile and we expect further progress to come," Rice told a news briefing before next week's U.N. meeting on the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

U.S. President Barack Obama has urged that a new sanctions resolution be drafted as soon as possible to target Iran over its nuclear program, which Western powers fear is a cover for building atomic weapons but which Tehran insists is purely for peaceful purposes.

Although initially reluctant, both Russia and China are involved in discussing the potential scope of a new U.N. sanctions proposal.

U.S. officials say they continue to pursue a "dual-track" approach toward Iran of diplomacy and sanctions. However, some American officials are skeptical that further negotiations to persuade Tehran to rein in its nuclear program can resolve the dispute.

Rice repeated that U.S. officials had no plans to meet with Iran's delegation to next week's NPT conference, which is expected to be led by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"Iran knows what our address is. It's been the P5+1. If Iran has something new to say, it knows where to find us," she said. (Reporting by Andrew Quinn; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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