'US preparing for every option on Iran'
US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro
US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro has described Iran as a regional threat, saying Washington will resort to “all necessary means” to stop Tehran's nuclear program.
"We've said and I say again that all options are open ... President (Barack) Obama clearly and consistently says that he will do everything and resort to all necessary means to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons, and he means every word," Shapiro said in an interview with the Hebrew-language daily Ma'ariv, Xinhua reported.
The US and Israel have repeatedly threatened Tehran with the "option" of a military strike, based on the allegation that Iran's nuclear work may consist of a covert military aspect.
They have also used this allegation as a pretext to sway the UN Security Council to impose four rounds of sanctions on Iran.
In its latest move to force Iran to abandon its peaceful nuclear program, Obama signed into law fresh economic sanctions against Iran's Central Bank on December 31.
The bill requires foreign financial firms to make a choice between doing business with Iran's Central Bank and oil sector or with the US financial sector.
However, Shapiro acknowledged that despite the United States having "upped the pressure (on Iran) to its highest level ever,” the sanctions have not been able to dissuade Tehran from continuing its nuclear program.
The US, Israel and their allies accuse Iran of pursuing a military nuclear program and have used this allegation as a pretext to convince the UN Security Council to impose four rounds of sanctions on Iran.
Tehran has categorically refuted Western allegations, saying as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it has the right to acquire and develop atomic technology for peaceful purposes.