(NEW YORK) -- A top Iranian official is essentially calling Israel's bluff.
Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on Monday gave little credence to Israel's threat of launching a preemptive strike to knock out its nuclear facilities while mocking Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent appearance at the United Nations.
According to Salehi, "If the Israelis had wanted to attack us, and if they could have done so, they would have done so long ago. In 1981, they destroyed an Iraqi reactor without warning, but they have been threatening us for years, on every occasion and publicly."
The U.S. is opposed to an Israeli strike against Iran at this time, contending that tough economic sanctions have severely crippled the Iranian economy.
Meanwhile, Salehi was also dismissive of Netanyahu, telling the U.N. General Assembly that a "red line" had to be drawn so that Iran knows it cannot proceed further with enriching uranium, a major step in creating nuclear weapons.
The foreign minister said that Netanyahu was "childish to hold up a caricature of a bomb" in an effort to accentuate his point.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio