JERUSALEM -- Israel's prime minister on Sunday urged the global community to get tougher on Iran, saying that without a "clear red line," Tehran will not halt its nuclear program.

The tough language from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reflected differences between Israel and its allies, particularly the United States, over how to deal with Iran.

Israel has warned that the Iranians are quickly approaching weapons capability and that the threat of force must be seriously considered. The United States says sanctions and international diplomacy must be given more time to work.

Netanyahu, speaking to his cabinet, said that a new report issued by the UN nuclear agency showing progress in the Iranian nuclear program bolstered his claim that international pressure is not working.

"I believe that the truth must be said, the international community is not drawing a clear red line for Iran, and Iran does not see international determination to stop its nuclear program," Netanyahu said. "Until Iran sees this clear red line and this determination, it will not stop its advancement of the Iranian nuclear program."

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only, a claim the West rejects.

The United States opposes a unilateral Israeli strike. Washington worries that a premature Israeli attack could send global oil prices soaring and touch off a broad conflict possibly drawing in U.S. forces just as the United States is preparing to hold presidential elections.

The U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, played down the rift over Iran, calling it an "overheated narrative in the media." He told Israel's Channel 2 TV that Washington was pursuing a diplomatic path, but "we also ensure that the military options are available in case they are needed." -- AP

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