NEW YORK, OCT. 1 -- Secretary of State George P. Shultz said today that he believes Iran's continuing refusal to accept a cease-fire in its war with Iraq will force the U.N. Security Council to impose an arms embargo on the Tehran government.

But Shultz also acknowledged at a news conference here that some U.N. members think there still is a chance of persuading Iran to join Iraq in agreeing to a cease-fire. For that reason, he said, the United States has agreed that U.N. Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar should be given more time to persuade Iran to comply with the cease-fire resolution adopted by the Security Council in July.

"Opinions vary about the likelihood that Iran will accept the resolution," Shultz said. "I'm on the skeptical end of the spectrum. I'd love to be proven wrong. I hope I am proven wrong. But it seems likely that in the interests of getting unanimity that the secretary general will have another go at it."

Shultz said he expected the Security Council to finish giving new instructions to Perez de Cuellar next week. The permanent Security Council members also began drafting a second, follow-up resolution today that would seek to force Iran into compliance through an arms embargo. Shultz indicated that the drafting process will pick up steam next week.

While saying he did not know when these steps will be completed, Shultz expressed confidence that Iran will not be allowed to stall indefinitely. Asked if he thought the United States has the necessary votes for a sanctions resolution if it becomes clear that a cease-fire is unattainable, Shultz said: "On that assumption, it's clear that the answer is yes."

He stuck to that position when asked whether he thought the Soviet Union and China, both permanent Security Council members with the power to veto any resolution, would endorse an embargo. Shultz said:

"All of us on the Security Council agreed when we voted for {the cease-fire} resolution that if it was not agreed to, there would be follow-on measures . . . There is a feeling all around that the Security Council is on the line -- that the United Nations is on the line. There is no intention to just let it peter out."

Shultz also revealed that he will visit Saudi Arabia for talks with King Fahd when he travels to the Middle East later this month, prior to his scheduled Oct. 22-23 meeting in Moscow with Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze.

The visit will mark the first top-level talks with the Saudi ruler since a series of controversial issues began to complicate relations early in the summer between Washington and its principal ally in the Persian Gulf.

These included revelations that Saudi Arabia secretly contributed money to the Nicaraguan contras, and fierce congressional opposition to a proposed $1 billion arms sale to the Saudis.

U.S. officials already had made known that Shultz intends on his Middle East trip to confer with leaders of Israel, Egypt and Jordan. He said today, however, that because Jordan's King Hussein will be in Europe at the time of his trip, he will meet Hussein in London.