| GEO World|
| 6 powers meet again on Iran sanctions|
| Updated at: 0641 PST, Thursday, April 15, 2010|
UNITED NATIONS: Six major powers held a second round of talks Wednesday on possible new sanctions against Iran for refusing to negotiate on its nuclear program, which the U.S. and others suspect is aimed at producing nuclear weapons.
The United States and its Western allies are pressing for quick adoption of an array of tough sanctions, but Russia and China are still hoping that diplomacy will lead Iran to the negotiating table and have indicated they will only agree to much weaker measures if Tehran refuses.
After more than three hours of talks, Russia's U.N. ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, and China's U.N. ambassador, Li Baodong, both called the discussion "very constructive" and Churkin said the six would meet again "very soon."
"We have a very important consultation with a focus on diplomacy," Li said earlier, while heading into the talks at the U.S. Mission.
On the table at the closed-door meeting is a draft U.N. resolution circulated by the U.S. in January, with some changes proposed by Britain, France and Germany. Ambassadors from the six countries held their first closed meeting on the draft last Thursday.
The draft resolution focuses on five areas: strengthening the existing arms embargo, targeting Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards, imposing new sanctions on its energy sector, and strengthening sanctions on its shipping and finance sectors, a U.N. diplomat familiar with the talks said. It would also add new names of individuals and entities to a list of those subject to an asset freeze and travel ban for their proliferation-related activities.
Foreign ministers from the five veto-wielding permanent Security Council nations — the U.S., Russia, China, Britain and France — and Germany's national security adviser met at a dinner Monday in Washington during the Nuclear Security Summit hosted by President Barack Obama and gave "clear confirmation" that negotiations should begin on a fourth sanctions resolution, the U.N. diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the discussion was private.