Permanent UN Security Council members, Germany to meet on Iran

The foreign ministers of the five nations holding permanent UN Security Council seats plus Germany plan next week to discuss possible new sanctions against Iran for its refusal to freeze uranium enrichment and heed other council demands, officials said. Still, the meeting was unlikely to produce a breakthrough, considering the differences among council members on how harshly to punish Tehran. Russian and Chinese opposition to harsh new sanctions has stiffened in the wake of a revised US intelligence assessment published last month. The assessment said that Iran stopped working on a secret nuclear weapons program in 2003 - a conclusion contrary to Washington's previous view that Teheran was continuing such activities.