US rejects Israel's call for Iran

The US has rejected comments by Israel's prime minister calling for a military threat against Iran to ensure it does not obtain nuclear weapons.

"We know that they are concerned about the impact of the sanctions. The sanctions are biting more deeply than they anticipated and we are working very hard at this," Robert Gates, US defence secretary, said on Monday.

"So I would disagree that only a credible military threat can get Iran to take the actions it needs to end its nuclear weapons programme," he said during a visit to Australia for security talks.

"We are prepared to do what is necessary but at this point we continue to believe that the political-economic approach that we taking is in fact having an impact in Iran."

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