Israel is expressing growing concern about Iran's nuclear program after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made more belligerent comments against the Jewish state. Israel is seeking international intervention.
Israel expressed outrage over remarks by Iran's president, who said that the Jewish state should be moved to Europe. The Iranian leader also expressed doubts about the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were killed by the Nazis during World War II.
Tension has been rising between the two countries since October, when the Iranian president called for Israel to be "wiped off the map." The comments send a chill here because of Iran's nuclear program.
"Israel is deeply concerned about Iran's ongoing nuclear and missile activities," said Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom.
Iran has developed the long-range Shihab-three ballistic missile that is capable of hitting targets anywhere in Israel. Mr. Shalom says it's just a matter of time before Iran is able to tip those missiles with nuclear warheads.
"We believe that the international community must take every necessary step to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capabilities," he added.
But Israel believes that the U.S. and Europe are moving too slowly, and that Iran will reach the "point of no return" in developing a nuclear weapon next year.
"This is why we believe that the matter should be referred to the U.N. Security Council as early as possible," he explained. "If Iran does not comply with its international obligations and continues to threaten global security, then sanctions must be initiated and the sooner the better."
Iran is becoming an issue in Israel's election campaign as the nation heads to the polls in March. Hawkish former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that if he's elected, he would support an Israeli pre-emptive strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. There is a precedent. The Israeli air force destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981.