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Report: Israeli Prime Minister Drumming Up Support for Possible Attack on Iran

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to rally support in his cabinet for an attack on Iran, according to Sky News.

Israel's defense and foreign ministers are said to be among senior Israeli government officials backing a possible strike to disrupt Iran's nuclear hopes.

Earlier this week, Netanyahu expressed new concerns about Iran's nuclear program, warning in a speech to parliament that the Iranian regime was continuing its efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. Cabinet ministers have recently held a series of discussions on possible pre-emptive military action against Iran, though no decisions are known to have been made, according to the Associated Press.

Adding to regional tensions, Israel on Wednesday successfully test-fired a missile said capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and striking Iran, fanning the public debate over  whether a military attack on Tehran's atomic facilities will occur.

While Israeli leaders have long warned that a military strike was an option, over the weekend a report in the Yediot Ahronot newspaper that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak favor an attack. In addition,  Haaretz wrote yesterday that Netanyahu is now lobbying senior members of his Cabinet for an attack, despite the complexity of the operation and the high likelihood it would draw a deadly retaliation from Iran.

Despite the sound of war drums, other options remain on the table as well.

The U.S. Congress approved new and tougher penalties today against Iran, focusing on companies that do business with Tehran as well as its central bank.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee approved two bills aimed at clamping down on Iran's nuclear weapons program. The committee chairwoman, GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, says Iran's oil income and business indirectly benefit a government that sponsors terrorism.

For its part. Iran denies that it wants to build nuclear weapons and says its program is for peaceful purposes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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