Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu called Thursday on the world to set a red line on Iran's nuclear enrichment, saying that faced with a "clear red line" Iran would back down from its suspected nuclear programme, giving more time for sanctions and diplomacy, dpa reported.
"Red lines do not lead to war; red lines prevent war," he told the United Nations General Assembly.
The Israeli leader, who has spoken consistently on the need to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, said the red line needed to be drawn "first and foremost on Iran's attempts to enrich uranium to 90 percent."
After that it's too late, he said, backing up his words by displaying a simple diagram of a bomb from the podium.
He said that at current enrichment rates, Iran will have finished the medium enrichment stage by next summer, and will move on to the final stage. From then, he said, it would only be a matter of a few more weeks until Iran had enriched enough uranium to build a nuclear weapon.
Israel regards Iran's suspected nuclear weapons drive as an existential threat, based on remarks by Iranian leaders that the Jewish state should be wiped off the map.
Speculation has mounted in recent weeks that Israel may launch a military strike against Iran. The US and the rest of the world oppose any unilateral Israel action.
Netanyahu has recently said that the imposition of red lines for Iran could help prevent a conflict. However, the US has publicly said it will not impose such a deadline.
Iran denies its nuclear programme has a military purpose, arguing it is for civilian purposes only.