Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel's media says the country's prime minister has told U.S. Vice President Joe Biden that Iran must be made to fear a military strike against its nuclear program.
They say in their Monday editions that Benjamin Netanyahu told Biden that although sanctions have hurt Iran, Tehran will be determined to produce nuclear weapons unless it thinks a military strike is a real option. Iran insists its nuclear program is designed to produce energy, not bombs.
Netanyahu met with Biden Sunday before he left for the United States.
Speaking in Australia, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday that military action against Iran remains an option but it is not the only way to stop it from building a nuclear bomb.
Also speaking in Australia Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the U.S. hopes Iraq is finally close to forming a new government - eight months after elections.
Clinton would not confirm reports that the political factions in Iraq have reached a deal. She says she cannot comment until Iraq announces a deal.
But Clinton added that the U.S. hopes Iraq's political factions are near the end of their haggling. She says the U.S. wants Iraq's political blocs to form an inclusive government that represents all interests.
The leaders of the main political factions plan to meet later Monday amid signs they are close to breaking the political deadlock.