The United States has until now not done enough to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, a senior Defense Ministry official has told The Jerusalem Post while expressing hope that Wednesday's referral of the Iranian issue to the United Nations Security Council would prove to be effective. "America needs to get its act together," the official said. "Until now the US administration has just been talking tough but the time has come for the Americans to begin to take tough action." The only real way to stop Teheran's race to obtain the bomb apart from military action was through tough economic sanctions that caused the Iranian people to suffer. "Once the people understand that their government is bringing upon them a disaster will they realize that the [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad's regime needs to be replaced," the official said. Iran, the official said, was doing all it could to stall for time, including holding "pointless" talks with Russia concerning the enrichment of its uranium. "They are just trying to get more time and they will continue lying and deceiving the international community while simultaneously trying to obtain nuclear power," he said. While it was complicated to overthrow the current regime in Teheran, "it is not impossible," the official said. If the world stopped refining Iranian oil, the official said as an example, the country would not have gas for its cars. "If the people start to suffer then they will understand that a change in government is needed." But if the diplomatic course failed, Israel and the US needed to be prepared, the official said, to take military action against Teheran. "This option may be needed but it should only be used as a last resort," he said. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told reporters in Germany on Wednesday that Israel had all it needed to defend itself against Iran. Asked by reporters if Israel had a military plan handy in a desk drawer to strike Iran, Mofaz said: "Israel has many drawers containing everything it needs to defend its citizens." Israel, Mofaz told senior German officials, would not stand by idly while its very existence was at risk. "We do not plan to turn a blind eye to these threats and we will do everything possible to make sure they do not materialize."