U.S. officials just held a background briefing with reporters in light of the International Atomic Energy Agency decided to formally knock Iran for unsanctioned proliferation activities.

The upshot from the administration: now is the time to get serious. The world is united in favor of tougher, non-diplomatic means to pressure Iran. But no word on when or how -- just yet.

And hey -- who says Obama left China without any concrete deliverables? (China and Russia voted along with the rest of the IAEA to censure Iran. The U.S. knew this vote was coming, and it became a key point of discussion between Presidents Obama and Hu, a U.S. official told me earlier in the week. China tends to oppose any talk of sanctions, but it has now voted to make some sort of penalty all but inevitable)