Iran will at some point be able to develop sufficient weapons-grade material for a nuclear bomb, according to the conclusions of an internal European Union document, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
"Attempts to engage the Iranian administration in a negotiating process have not so far succeeded," the newspaper quoted an extract of the document, compiled by the staff of EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, as saying.
The FT said it had seen the conclusions of the "reflection paper", dated February 7 and circulated to the EU's 27 member states ahead of a foreign ministers' meeting on Monday.
"At some stage we must expect that Iran will acquire the capacity to enrich uranium on the scale required for a weapons program," the FT quoted the document as saying.
"In practice ... The Iranians have pursued their program at their own pace, the limiting factor being technical difficulties rather than resolutions by the UN or the International Atomic Energy Agency.
"The problems with Iran will not be resolved through economic sanctions alone."
EU leaders said on Monday Iran was showing "new ambition" to negotiate an end to the nuclear row with the West and the door was open for new talks, but they also agreed to implement UN Sanctions to keep pressure on Tehran.
Officials said the sanctions would strictly echo a UN resolution aimed at making Iran suspend efforts to make nuclear fuel, which Tehran says is meant only to generate electricity but the West suspects is a disguised quest for atomic bombs.