The new measures under discussion are a follow-up to a key Security Council resolution passed on December 23 that imposed trade sanctions on sensitive nuclear materials and technology as well as other penalties after Iran refused to suspend uranium enrichment. The sanctions would be suspended if Iran complied.

 

More talks

 

"They had a good discussion in keeping with the positive atmosphere of their conversations last week," Cooper said in a brief written statement.

 

"Discussions will now move to New York, where our United Nations permanent representatives [ambassadors] will take up work on the issue."

    

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"It is stubbornness and pride on Iran's part that has led to this impasse, and it can only lead to disaster for Iran"

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US and European diplomats have said the new sanctions are expected to include a mandatory travel ban on Iranian officials involved in the nuclear programme and an expansion of the list of banned nuclear material and technology Iran may import and export.

 

Also under consideration is enlarging the list of Iranian officials whose assets were frozen in the December resolution. But envoys said proposals for a total arms embargo would be dropped because of Russian objections as would a ban on visas for students studying nuclear technology abroad.

 

The US and leading European countries suspect Iran is seeking to build nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian atomic programme. Tehran denies the charge and says its programme is for generating electricity.