Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres appealed for united action against Iran, saying the country appears stronger than it really is because of a lack of an international consensus over its nuclear ambitions.
Peres did not call for military action, but said a common approach such as economic sanctions is needed.
"I'm not concerned there is a need for war with Iran," Peres said at a speech Wednesday at Yale University. "There is a need for a common policy."
Peres described Iran as a largely poor country that has not been able to create enough jobs to satisfy its fast growing population.
"Iran is a great problem, but not necessarily a great country," Peres said during a news conference before his speech. "I think as a matter of fact it's a very weak country. What makes Iran so strong? My answer is the weakness of the international community."
The United States has been trying to force Iran, through the threat of sanctions, to act more responsibly both on its nuclear program and its support for extremists. But work on a resolution at the United Nations has been bogged down by disputes pitting Russia and China against the United States and Europeans, reports AP.
Arab countries want to head off a U.S. or Israeli confrontation with Iran.
The U.S. alleges Iran is secretly developing atomic weapons, while Tehran claims its program is for peaceful purposes including generating electricity. Iran has repeatedly refused to suspend uranium enrichment, defying an Aug. 31 deadline set by the U.N. Security Council, and has said it will not halt the process as a precondition to negotiations over its nuclear program.
In May, Peres warned Iran that it could be threatened with destruction if it continues to vow to destroy Israel.
Peres discussed the prospects for peace in the Middle East amid a cease-fire and new diplomatic moves to revive long-frozen peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
Israel and the West are boycotting the current Palestinian government headed by Hamas, an Islamic movement listed by the West as a terror group.