TEHRAN (AFP/Reuters) - World powers will fail to reach a consensus on imposing new sanctions against Iran over its controversial nuclear programme, the Iranian Foreign Ministry predicted on Sunday. Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told the official IRNA news agency that the P5+1 group, comprising the US, Britain, France, Russia, China - five veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council - and Germany, would not succeed in imposing sanctions on Tehran. Since the principle of sanctions regarding Irans peaceful nuclear activity lacks a logical and legal basis and is being pursued with political intentions by some countries, it is natural that sanctions will not materialise, Mehmanparast said. Meanwhile, The New York Times reported that the US government, while pushing for tougher sanctions against Tehran, has given $107 billion in the last 10 years to US and foreign companies doing business in Iran, much of it in the energy sector. Despite the threat of punishment for companies that seek US federal contracts while dealing with Iran, the Times said successive administrations have struggled to exert authority over foreign companies and overseas units of US firms. Of the 74 companies the newspaper said it had identified as doing business with both the US government and Iran, 49 still work with Iran and have no announced plans to leave. Many of those companies are enmeshed in the most vital elements of Irans economy, the Times said of its analysis of federal records, company reports and other documents. More than two-thirds of the government money went to companies doing business in Irans energy industry - a huge source of revenue for the Iranian government and a stronghold of the increasingly powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that oversees Tehrans nuclear and missile programs. Companies the Times said had shared the $107b in US contract payments, grants and other benefits between 2000 and 2009 while doing business in Iran, directly or through subsidiaries, included: * Global energy giant Royal Dutch Shell * Brazilian state energy conglomerate Petrobras * US aviation and aerospace company Honeywell * Japanese carmaker Mazda * South Korean engineering group Daelim Industrial The Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 gives the US President a range of actions to use against companies but Congress is considering tougher steps mandating that firms investing in Irans energy sector be denied federal contracts. We need to send a strong message to corporations that were not going to continue to allow them to economically enable the Iranian government to continue to do what they have been doing, Representative Ron Klein, who wrote the contracting legislation, told the Times. The Paper said the Obama Administration points to decisions by a number of companies to pull out of Iran or hold off on new investment as a sign Washington has been successful at pressing governments and executives to curtail investment in Iran. We are very aggressive, using a range of tools, Denis McDonough, chief of staff to the National Security Council, told the Times.