Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Iran is just months away from making a nuclear bomb and has urged the US to draw a "red line".
Calling for fresh action to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions, Netanyahu told NBC: "You have to place that red line before them now, before it's too late."
Appearing in two different interviews on American networks to mark the Jewish New Year, he said by the middle of 2013 Iran will have the capacity to produce an atomic weapon.
Even as Netanyahu was speaking, the Iranian side was angry. The chief of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Brig Gen Mohammed-Ali Jafari declared that nothing would remain of Israel if it chose to attack Tehran.
"It is clear that that nothing would remain in Israel [if it attacks Tehran] considering its small size and numerous vulnerabilities vis-a-vis Iran's mass of missiles," said Ali Jafari.
Netanyahu was speaking in the US at a time when differences between close allies US and Israel became wide open after Obama refused to meet Netanyahu during this trip. Netanyahu once again insisted that Washington should make it clear at which point they would take military action against Iran, if Tehran proceeds at the current pace.
The remarks, directly addressed to the American public, are set to put more pressure on Obama.
While trying to strike an emotional chord with the American audience by connecting the US ambassador's death in Libya, Netanyahu said: "Iran is guided by a leadership with an unbelievable fanaticism. It's the same fanaticism that you see storming your embassies today. You want these fanatics to have a nuclear weapon?"
Netanyahu made it clear that beyond a certain point Israel would attack Iran even without Washington's support.
Political leaders believe the remarks could upset Obama who faces the presidential election in a few weeks. Netanyahu's views could provide fodder to Obama's Republican opponents, forcing him to take a stand.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has long accused Obama of not acting firm against Iran over its nuclear programme.