Israel is threatening to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran's nuclear program. But a senior Israeli official says the first option is international diplomacy.
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz has hinted that Israel is preparing for military action against Iran's nuclear facilities.
"Israel cannot accept an Iranian nuclear capability and it must defend itself, with all that that implies," Mr. Mofaz said.
"We are preparing," he added. But Mr. Mofaz said international diplomacy must be the first course of action.
He welcomed the U.S.-led effort to bring Iran before the U.N. Security Council, saying sanctions and international oversight of Iran's nuclear program are the "correct policy at this time."
Israel has expressed growing alarm about Iran's nuclear program since late October, when the Iranian president called for the Jewish state to be "wiped off the map."
Israeli spokesman Mark Regev says the U.S. and Europe must move more quickly to prevent Iran from acquiring the atom bomb.
"The combination of a regime with a very radical agenda, put together with nuclear weapons, I think that is a combination, a dangerous combination that no one in the international community can accept."
The Israeli air force destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981. And Israeli officials have warned repeatedly that if diplomacy fails, there is a military option.