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US mulls UN sanction options against Iran

A meeting of major world powers next week in Moscow would discuss possible punitive measures against Iran.

india Updated: Apr 15, 2006 09:39 IST

The United States is mulling various UN sanctions against Iran for its controversial nuclear programme, including assets freezes and travel restrictions on its leaders, US officials has said.

The State Department said a meeting of major world powers next week in Moscow would discuss possible punitive measures against Iran if it does not scrap its suspected effort to build a nuclear bomb.

Nicholas Burns, the department's number three official, will try to nail down a consensus in talks on Tuesday with counterparts from European allies, Canada, Russia, China and Japan, spokesman Sean McCormack said.

"These meetings are intended to start to tee up decisions ... About diplomatic next steps, real actions that the Security Council and that the UN can take to increase the pressure on the Iranian regime." he said.

The United States has signaled its intention to seek a tough resolution against Iran under chapter seven of the UN charter, which allows for sanctions and even the use of force as a last resort.

McCormack said there were several options available to punish Iran if it did not heed a Security Council injunction to halt sensitive uranium-enrichment activities by April 28.

"Those would include asset freezes ...Would potentially include restrictions on the ability of some members of that regime to travel," he told reporters on Friday.

On a bilateral level, officials said the United States could move to restrict the remaining few business links with businesses in Iran, including imports of carpets and pistachio nuts.