But contrary to Washington's wish, the agreed draft does not set a 31 October deadline for Iran to comply with demands from the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"The United States ... and Britain, France and Germany have reached agreement on a draft resolution that will be considered by the IAEA board," said State Department spokesman Edward Vasquez.

Many members of the 35-nation IAEA board had been hostile to Washington's insistence on an ultimatum to Iran.

Future steps

The draft says the IAEA board of governors will decide in November "whether or not further steps are appropriate in relation to Iran's obligations under its nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty safeguards agreement".

Iran says its nuclear programme
is for peaceful civilian purposes

The steps could include taking Iran to UN Security Council, although there is no automatic requirement for the board to do this, as the US had demanded.

The United States, which accuses Iran of secretly developing nuclear weapons, wanted the IAEA to judge Iran in non-compliance with nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty safeguards and drag Tehran before the Security Council for possible sanctions.

Iran's delegation chief to IAEA, Hossein Mousavian, alleged the Americans pressed for a deadline "since they needed this propaganda for the US presidential election".

Tehran denies developing nuclear arms, insisting its nuclear programme is strictly peaceful.