Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said the US had forfeited any moral right to stop Israel taking action against Irans nuclear programme because it had refused to be firm with Tehran itself.
In comments which appeared to bring the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran closer,Netanyahu took the administration of President Barack Obama to task after Washington rebuffed his own call to set a red line for Tehrans nuclear drive.
The world tells Israel wait,theres still time. And I say,Wait for what? Wait until when? said Netanyahu.
Those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before Iran dont have a moral right to place a red light before Israel, he added. Netanyahus comments came as diplomats said six world powers were poised to voice serious concern about Irans uranium enrichment programme.
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said on Tuesday that Washington would have little more than a year to act to stop Tehran if it decided to produce a nuclear weapon.
The remarks also came at a time when the UN atomic agency the International Atomic Energy Agency received new and significant intelligence over the past month that Iran has moved further toward the ability to build a nuclear weapon,diplomats said.
They said the intelligence shows that Iran has advanced its work on calculating the destructive power of an atomic warhead through a series of computer models that it ran within the past three years.
The diplomats say the information comes from Israel,the US and at least two other Western countries.
Because computer modelling work is normally accompanied by physical tests of the components that go into a nuclear weapons,it would also buttress IAEA fears outlined in detail in November that Tehran is advancing its weapons research on multiple fronts.
Also on Tuesday,an Israeli cabinet minister invoked his countrys secret 2007 air raid on an alleged Syrian nuclear reactor to suggest Israel could successfully strike Iran without US support. The remarks were made by Environment Minister Gilad Erdan on Israel Radio.