( dpa ) - Foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany gathered in Berlin Tuesday to thrash out the text of a possible third resolution on Iran's nuclear programme that could contain stringent sanctions.
Germany's Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who called the meeting at short notice, predicted agreement and said he was particularly pleased that his Russian and Chinese counterparts were attending.
"I am confident that we will end our meeting this (Tuesday) evening with results and show Iran once more that our suspicions have not been allayed and that the unity of the international community, including Russia and China remains intact," he told national German television ARD.
Steinmeier said Tehran had long hoped that the group of six could be split, with Russia and China taking a more conciliatory line.
Tehran was defiant in the face of the renewed pressure.
"The Iranian nation moves towards realization of its (nuclear) aims within a legal and legitimate framework and even a new UN resolution would not change this drive," government spokesman Gholam- Hossein Elham said in the Iranian capital.
Iran has called for the Security Council to return the dossier on its nuclear programme to the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to avoid "politicizing" the issue.
IAEA Secretary General Mohammed ElBaradei met President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran on January 12, where the two sides agreed a four-week working plan to resolve outstanding issues.
Around 100 Iranian activists held a demonstration against the Tehran government in central Berlin.
"Sanctions against the mullahs," a spokesman shouted into a megaphone directly in front of the Foreign Ministry where US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was holding preliminary bilateral talks with Steinmeier.
The demonstrators, watched over by a strong police presence, held up placards calling for "No Nukes to the Mullahs" and "Support for the Women's Movement."
Four demonstrators stood in striped prison dress with ropes around their necks in front of a makeshift scaffold to protest against the public hangings carried out in Iran.
The six nations do not deny Iran's right to pursue civilian nuclear power but remain suspicious of its uranium enrichment programme.
Apart from Rice and Steinmeier, those attending were China's Yang Jiechi, Russia's Sergei Lavrov, France's Bernard Kouchner and Britain's David Miliband. The European Union's foreign policy head, Javier Solana, was also to be present.