Iran has begun testing new uranium enrichment equipment that could double the capacity of its small research and development facilities, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei has said.
"Based on our most recent inspections, the second centrifuge cascade is in place and ready to go," he told New York Times, adding "no uranium had yet been entered into the new system, but could be as early as next week".
In a speech at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service on Monday, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog made it clear that he believes sanctions are unlikely to work.
"Penalizing them is not a solution. At the end of the day, we have to bite the bullet and talk to North Korea and Iran, to talk to all other adversaries because without dialogue we are not moving forward," ElBaradei said after meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
"I think in all these issues, dialogue is indispensable. I think we have to move away from the idea that dialogue is a reward; dialogue is an essential tool to change behavior," the IAEA director general said.
"Export control is not sufficient ... We really need to go and understand ... Why these countries are tempted to develop nuclear weapons," he said.