Iran's clock is ticking but no one can yet be sure if it is the countdown to war

Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said the short range missiles are meant for defence, not attack. Photo: Press TV

Iranian television displayed a new generation of military hardware today in the country's capital city Tehran in what appeared to be a warning to Israel.

It says it is a move against international aggression and a warning that Iran will not cave into pressure over its nuclear programme.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said the short-range missiles are meant for defence, not attack.

It means Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is close to a decision that might mean war or peace for the Middle East.

That could mean whether to order air strikes to stop what western intelligence believes is Iran's quest for nuclear weapons or to hold back the war planes whilst sanctions and diplomacy are given longer to work.

Surveying an Israeli bunker. Credit: ITV News

Beneath Israel's streets you discover preparations for war and its consequences are complete.

Israel is a country that is on a permanent war footing but now there's a real sense of urgency that the country should be ready - and a growing conviction that war with Iran is coming sooner rather than later.

For Iran the clock is ticking but no-one can yet be sure if its the countdown to war.