Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on a mission to warn world leaders of Irans plans to build an atomic bomb.
Speaking to the U.N. General Assembly last week, he said that Tehran was working toward completing such a weapon by the summer of 2013.
The Israeli leader held an illustration of a bomb with a lighted fuse and drew a red line on the picture that he said Iran should not be allowed to cross.
Mr. Netanyahu wants world powers to set a limit on Tehrans production of nuclear fuel. That would represent the line that Iran could not cross without inviting military strikes.
I believe that, faced with a clear red line, Iran will back down, he said.
The Israeli has urged President Barack Obama to adopt a more aggressive policy toward Iran. Mr. Obama wants to allow more time for diplomacy and sanctions to work. Iran, of course, says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
Mr. Netanyahu implied in his talk that Israel would not attack Iran until the spring, when, he said, Tehran will have enriched enough uranium to construct nuclear weapons. That eased the minds of Western and Arab leaders, who have been concerned that Israel may take action any day.
Some worried that Israel would launch a strike on Iranian facilities before the U.S. presidential election. That no longer appears to be the case.
The Obama administration has rejected the Israeli leaders approach, saying that economic sanctions are taking their toll on Irans economy. Mr. Netnyahu says that sanctions will not be enough to force Iran to give up its nuclear program.
President Obama is right to take a more diplomatic course. He must not let Mr. Netanyahu or any other foreign leader dictate U.S. policy.
But the Israeli leaders concerns about Iran must be heeded. White House officials have stressed that the two countries share the goal of preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and will work together toward achieving that goal.