Secretary of State Colin Powell, citing continued Iraqi resistance to U.N. weapons inspections, says the United States is working with other countries on a new Security Council resolution understood to declare Iraq in "material breach" of its disarmament obligations.

Mr. Powell says a new measure is "appropriate" in the face of "continued Iraqi non-compliance" with last November's resolution 1441, and that consultations are now under way with other members of the Security Council on its terms.

In a talk with reporters after a meeting with NATO Secretary-General George Robertson, the secretary would not discuss specifics of the resolution. But he said it would be presented in the "very near future," and that the Bush administration intends to get the votes needed to win approval in the council.

"We don't put a resolution down, unless we intend to fight for that resolution, unless we believe we can make the case that a resolution is appropriate," Mr. Powell said.

Mr. Powell cited U.S. press reports that Iraq has not followed-up on promises last week of increased cooperation with U.N. inspectors, and said the Baghdad government is adept at "thwarting" the monitoring process.