Iran“Go ahead, make my day”: Sheldon Adelson on how to deal with Iran

Published 25 October 2013

Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson says that the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran will lead to nothing, arguing that the best negotiating tactics would be to launch a preemptive nuclear strike on unpopulated areas in Iran – accompanied by a threat to wipe out the entire population of Tehran if Iran refused to give up its nuclear program. Echoing Clint Eastwood, Adelson said that following the nuclear explosion in the desert, Obama should tell the Iranians: “You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development.”

Nearly fifty years ago, in 1964, Barry Goldwater, running as the Republican candidate against President Lyndon Johnson in the elections, startled audiences by what was regarded at the time as loose talk about nuclear weapons. He suggested, for example, that the United States could resolve many of the problems it was facing around the world by “[Lobbing] one into the men’s room at the Kremlin.”

Tuesday night, in a public forum titled “Will Jews Exist?” at Yeshiva University in New York, Casino billionaire and GOP mega-donor Sheldon Adelson said, in response to a question from the audience, that the best negotiating tactic with Iran would be launch a nuclear missile at the country and threaten to wipe out the entire population of Tehran.

Adelson’s comments were videotaped by Philip Weiss of the news site Mondoweiss, and are available here.

Adelson says:

What are we going to negotiate about? I would say “Listen, you see that desert out there, I want to show you something.” … You pick up your cell phone and you call somewhere in Nebraska and you say, “OK let it go.” And so there’s an atomic weapon, goes over ballistic missiles, the middle of the desert, that doesn’t hurt a soul. Maybe a couple of rattlesnakes, and scorpions, or whatever. Then you say, “See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development. You want to be peaceful? Just reverse it all, and we will guarantee you that you can have a nuclear power plant for electricity purposes, energy purposes.”

Haaretz reports that Adelson, the largest donor to the Republican Party and its affiliated groups, made the comments during a panel discussion hosted by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, and Yeshiva University president Richard Joel.