The United States and Israel don't agree on the timetable for taking action to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak said the U.S. Believes it can wait longer because of its superior military forces. He said the United States doesn't have the same sense of urgency as Israel because it is not directly threatened by an Iranian bomb.
However, Israel "cannot afford" to wait in such a situation, Barak told Israel Radio.
Barak said Israel can wait a few more months to see if sanctions and negotiations will change Iran's course.
In an interview with German television, Barak said 2012 is a "highly important" year for a possible strike. He also speculated that a "surgical intervention" - a precision hit on Iranian targets - is not a matter of weeks, but also not a matter of years.
Iran continues to deny it is trying to develop nuclear weapons, and insists its nuclear program is meant for peaceful uses such as generating electricity.