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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday convened a meeting of the forum of seven cabinet ministers along with top defense officials to discuss the Iranian nuclear issue.

The meeting comes after a White House spokesman said that the U.S. has begun to take steps to confront Iran's unwillingness to "pursue it responsibilities" regarding its nuclear program.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday dismissed a year-end deadline set by the Obama administration for Tehran to accept a United Nations-drafted deal to swap enriched uranium for nuclear fuel.

The draft deal aims to diminish Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium, easing the West's fears that the material could be used to produce a nuclear weapon. Iran, which denies it seeks to build a bomb, has balked at the deal's terms.

"The West can give Iran as many deadlines as they want, we don't care," Ahmadinejad told supporters in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz.

Lashing out at Washington, Ahmadinejad added: "If Iran wanted to make a bomb, we would be brave enough to tell you. Iran won't allow the U.S. to dominate the region."

World powers are likely to back a new set of sanctions against Iran over the Islamic Republic's refusal to prove it is not trying to build a nuclear bomb, the top U.S. military officer said Sunday.

"I think signals are very clearly in the air that another set of sanctions, another resolution, that that's coming," said Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.