Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his country is not planning a war with Iran, and has criticized Tehran's talk of such a conflict as a reaction to the threat of tougher sanctions.

Israel has said it hopes diplomacy will resolve the nuclear standoff over Iran, but has not ruled out military action.

Netanyahu is in Moscow urging Russia to sign off on debilitating sanctions for Iran over its nuclear program.

He said at a briefing Tuesday that "we are not planning any wars."

Russia has not ruled out tougher sanctions, but is dragging its heels over a move that could threaten its cordial relations with Tehran.

Iran has frequently mentioned it could suffer a military strike from Israel or its allies. Netanyahu dismissed such allegations as "manipulations."

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APTV 02-16-10 1301EST