Tehran said it will respond with “full force” to any attack on its nuclear facilities after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged global action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
In a speech to the UN General Assembly, Mr Netanyahu warned that the world has less than a year to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power, a prediction that will raise fears of a military confrontation.
Iran "is strong enough to defend itself and reserves its full right to retaliate with full force against any attack," said Eshagh al-Habib, Iran's deputy UN ambassador. He insisted the country's nuclear programme was peaceful.
In Israel, some derided as gimmickry Mr Netanyahu's use of a cartoon picture of a bomb with a fuse to depict Iran's nuclear progress, and urged the premier to patch up differences with Washington after public disagreement over the handling of Iran. Mr Netanyahu has irked its closest ally by calling for "red lines" to set limits on Iran's nuclear progress.
"Red lines are not achieved through drawings presented on stages," said Shelly Yachimovich, leader of the opposition Labour party, "but in closed rooms and via cooperation and the restoration of trust between us and our most important ally - the United States."