Vienna: A senior Iranian envoy is discounting the threat of a military attack on his country, saying "nobody would dare" to provoke such a confrontation with Tehran.

Ali Asghar Soltanieh says Iran's foes "should have learned a lesson" from the way his country fought Saddam Hussein's army to a standstill after it invaded the Islamic Republic in 1980.

He told reporters on Saturday that if there is an attack now, Iran would "respond immediately."

Israeli government figures suggest there is debate on whether to strike Iran.

The Jewish state is concerned that Iran is close to developing nuclear weapons and if that diplomacy fails to end that threat the only option may be a strike on its atomic installations.

American officials want further negotiations but say no option is off the table.

Soltanieh is Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

(Agencies)