Iran, whose president this week called for the destruction of the state of Israel, poses a challenge to the international community, British Defense Secretary John Reid said Sunday.
The United Nations was holding informal discussions Sunday about Iran, which has been accused of supporting insurgents in their attacks on US-led forces in Iraq. There is also international concern that the Middle Eastern nation has ambitions to build nuclear weapons.
Reid said Iran appeared to be trying to confront the international community, which is considering how to respond.
"I don't think anybody is speaking about military involvement at any level about the questions we are facing just now," he said in an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp.'s Sunday AM program.
"That is a challenge to the whole world and to the United Nations. It is the United Nations which must face up to that and (Secretary-General) Kofi Annan has made it plain that it intends to face up to that."