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Permanent UN Security Council Members, Germany Confer on Iran Sanctions

Diplomats from the U.N. Security Council's five permanent member countries plus Germany have conferred on implementing further sanctions against Iran for its disputed nuclear program.

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns Thursday held a conference call with his counterparts from Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany (the so-called P-Five-Plus-One). The exact details of the call were not immediately available.

The diplomats are attempting to finalize terms of a third sanctions resolution against Tehran. But U.S. officials have said there is no chance of submitting a new resolution before January.

In related news, Russia this week began delivering fuel to Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant on the Persian Gulf, under terms that mandate the return of all spent fuel to Russia.

A spokeswoman, Irina Yesipova, for the Russian state contractor, Atomstroiexport, building the plant tells VOA fuel will be delivered from Russia under strict supervision by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The head of Atomstroiexport, Sergei Shmatko, said today construction of the plant will be completed, but it will not be "launched" before late next year.

The United States and its Western allies have accused Iran of attempting to develop nuclear weapons.

The U.S. has been in negotiations with the other veto-wielding Security Council members and Germany on new sanctions since Iran ignored the 60-day deadline to halt uranium enrichment. The deadline was contained in the last sanctions measure that was adopted in late March.

Tehran argues that its nuclear work is strictly for civilian purposes.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.