Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Friday issued a thinly veiled call for the United States not to rule out the possibility of a military strike against Iran because of its civilian nuclear progress.
"We don't rule out any option. We recommend others don't rule out any option either," Barak told journalists after talks with visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Israel and its close ally the United States accuse Iran of seeking a nuclear weapon, while they have never presented any corroborative document to substantiate their allegations. Both Washington and Tel Aviv possess advanced weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear warheads.
Iran vehemently denies the charges, insisting that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. Tehran stresses that the country has always pursued a civilian path to provide power to the growing number of Iranian population, whose fossil fuel would eventually run dry.
Israel is the only country in the Middle Ease that actually has nuclear weapons.
On Thursday, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said possible US talks with Iran may be problematic, highlighting possible disagreements with a Barack Obama administration.
"Dialogue at this point may be interpreted as a sign of weakness," she said.
Obama said during a visit to Israel in July that he is completely open to meeting Tehran's representatives if the conditions were appropriate.
IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei had recently suggested that nuclear weapons states bore some blame for other countries seeking such arms, because they are modernizing arsenals rather than scrapping them.
The US, France and Britain are three nuclear weapons states that have ratified the Nonproliferation Treaty.
"How can I go with a straight face to the non-nuclear-weapon states and tell them nuclear weapons are no good for you, while the weapon states continue to modernize and to say 'we absolutely need nuclear weapons,'" ElBaradei said.
Observers say due the strong Jewish and pro-Israel lobbies in the US and some European countries, these countries have taken a hypocritical stance in relation to nuclear issues in the region.
Tehran had repeatedly protested against Israeli and US war threats, warning them that it would retaliate in the event of any strike against Iran.
Speculation that Israel could also bomb Iran mounted after a big Israeli air drill in June. In the first week of June, 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters reportedly took part in an exercise over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece, which was interpreted as a dress rehearsal for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear installations.
Iran has, in return, warned that it would target Israel and its worldwide interests in case it comes under attack by the Tel Aviv.
The United States has also always stressed that military action is a main option for the White House to deter Iran's progress in the field of nuclear technology.
Iran has warned it could close the strategic Strait of Hormoz if it became the target of a military attack over its nuclear program.
An estimated 40 percent of the world's oil supply passes through the waterway.
In a Sep. 11 report, the Washington Institute for the Near East Policy says that in the two decades since the Iran-Iraq War, the Islamic Republic has excelled in naval capabilities and is able to wage unique asymmetric warfare against larger naval forces.
According to the report, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Navy (IRGCN) has been transformed into a highly motivated, well-equipped, and well-financed force and is effectively in control of the world's oil lifeline, the Strait of Hormuz.
The study says that if Washington takes military action against the Islamic Republic, the scale of Iran's response would likely be proportional to the scale of the damage inflicted on Iranian assets.
Intensified threats by Tel Aviv and Washington of military action against Iran contradict a recent report by 16 US intelligence bodies which endorsed the civilian nature of Iran's nuclear plans and activities.
Following the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) and similar reports by the IAEA head - one in November and the other one in February - which praised Iran's truthfulness about key aspects of its past nuclear activities and announced settlement of outstanding issues with Tehran, any effort to impose further sanctions or launch military attack on Iran seems to be completely irrational.
The February report by the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, praised Iran's cooperation in clearing up all of the past questions over its nuclear program, vindicating Iran's nuclear program and leaving no justification for any new UN sanctions.
The UN nuclear watchdog has also carried out at least 14 surprise inspections of Iran's nuclear sites so far, but found nothing to support West's allegations.
Following the said reports by the US and international bodies, many world states have called the UN Security Council pressure against Tehran unjustified, demanding that Iran's case be normalized and returned from the UNSC to the IAEA.
Meantime, a recent study by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a prestigious American think tank, has found that a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities "is unlikely" to delay the country's program.