Standing alongside the visiting U.S. defense secretary, Leon Panetta, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that western sanctions against Iran have not prevented the Islamic Republic from developing nuclear weapons.

"However forceful our statements, they have not convinced Iran that we are serious about stopping them,” Netanyahu said.

"Right now the Iranian regime believes that the international community does not have the will to stop its nuclear program."

Netanyahu has reiterated his threat that the Israeli military will consider taking action against Iran to thwart its nuclear ambitions (a stance that goes against admonitions from the U.S. and Western Europe that Israel should exercise caution and avoid unilateral action).

"You yourself said a few months ago that when all else fails, America will act," he told Panetta.

"But these declarations have also not yet convinced the Iranians to stop their program. This must change, and it must change quickly because time to resolve this issue peacefully is running out."