The Islamic Republic does not have the capability for nuclear weaponry at this point due to technological difficulties it has recently been facing, Ya'alon told Israel Radio on Wednesday.
The United States, European Union and United Nations have imposed sanctions on Iran because of worries that its uranium enrichment programme's aim is to develop a nuclear arsenal. Tehran denies developing an atomic bomb and says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.
Without mentioning any eventual military action against Iran, Ya'alon said he hopes that American action against the country is successful.
"I think that this action will increase and will include areas outside of sanctions that will in effect make Iran choose between continuing nuclear research and surviving" as a country, he said.
Israel on a number of occasions has urged the US to take tougher action against Iran’s nuclear programme, pressing it to put a deadline on negotiations and to consider a military strike if necessary, according to WikiLeaks documents published earlier this month.
Other leaked cables reveal Arab Gulf states encouraging Washington to attack Iran to stifle their neighbours' nuclear aspirations.