Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he is confident that the United Nations will approve new sanctions on Iran this week.
Gates says that would give a legal foundation for the United States, European Union or others to pile on even stricter penalties.
Both Gates and his new British counterpart, defense chief Liam Fox, said Tuesday that there is still time to stop Tehran from getting a nuclear bomb.
Following a meeting with Gates in London, Fox warned strongly that an Iranian nuclear weapon would start a Mideast arms race.
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