WASHINGTON - Major powers may soon meet to discuss Iran's nuclear program, the State Department said on Monday, adding the talks could take place when U.S. Undersecretary of State William Burns travels to Moscow and Madrid this week.

The United States, which accuses Iran of secretly pursuing nuclear arms under cover of its civil nuclear program, last week said it had begun discussing new sanctions to pressure Iran's government to curb Tehran's nuclear program without hurting ordinary people.

There may well be a P5+1 meeting coming up in the very near future ... it could be part of this trip, U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters, referring to a group that includes the permanent five members of the U.N. Security Council -- the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China -- plus Germany.

He said Burns would travel to Moscow on Wednesday and Thursday and to Madrid on Friday.

While in Madrid, he said Burns would meet European political directors to discuss Iran, among other topics. He would not say where any P5+1 meeting on Iran might take place.

(Editing by Sandra Maler)