Washington has been applying the pressure on the UN Security Council to level new sanctions on Tehran as fears arise that Israel will conduct a unilateral strike against Iran's suspected nuclear facilities, the Israeli newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, reported.

A senior United States State Department official said there was growing concern within President Barack Obama's administration over an International Atomic Energy Agency report due in November that is expected to illustrate Tehran's progress in the making of its military nuclear program.

Growing U.S. concern is that the report could trigger an Israeli response not necessarily in Washington's best interests. And, based on previous Israeli moves, the U.S. fears an Israeli strike in Iran. As a result, the Obama administration is ardently trying to persuade China and Russia into increasing pressure on Iran.

In a potentially related development, Saturday reports suggested that the U.S. was planning to bolster its combat presence in the Persian Gulf following its withdrawal from Iraq at the end of this year. The move is seen as a hedge against deteriorating security conditions in Iraq, as well as a buttress against Iran, The New York Times said.