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ElBaredei Warns But No New Sanctions on Iran

In a turn of events several years overdue, and perhaps far far too late, IAEA head Mohamed ElBaradei says Iran is on its way to atomic bomb capability.

Iran is on its way to mastering technology that would enable it to build atomic bombs, if it so chose, International Atomic Energy Agency director Mohamed ElBaradei said in remarks published on Friday. [ . . . ]

Beyond seven confirmed nuclear weapons powers, there is a wide range of countries with access to components -- fissile material or the equipment to produce it -- that could give them an atomic bomb "in a matter of months or a year," he said.

Meanwhile, as even ElBaredei now concedes Iran is potentially months from a nuclear weapons, the pace to intervene has more roadblocks and slows in pace. Case in point, there are no new sanctions in the next U.N. Iran resolution.

According to a text seen by Reuters, the 10-line draft resolution would call on Iran to "fully comply, without delay" with previous council resolutions, which demand that it halt enriching uranium. It also urges Iran to meet the requirements of the International Atomic Energy Agency board of governors.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the resolution aimed, not to impose new sanctions against Tehran, but rather to show unity after disagreements with Russia over its invasion of Georgia.

"It's also especially important that the Iranians recognize that the P5 plus 1 process is intact," Rice told Reuters in an interview, referring to the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States -- and Germany, the powers seeking to persuade Iran to halt its suspected pursuit of a nuclear weapon.

December is likely a decisive month, representing a window between US administrations for Israeli action.

UPDATE: "Russia and U.S. agree to press Iran, but without sanctions." [Ed. - That'll leave a mark, I am sure.]