There are 6 million American Jews. They vote, they control a huge amount of wealth, they support election candidates, they contribute to science and technology, entertainment and literature. They are important for the US and have important support groups and are the main reason the US strongly supports Israel despite residual anti Semitism in the US. There are 7 million American Muslims. They hardly count at all and contribute little to American society. So have no illusions about the US relationship with Israel. With respect to Iran there is no doubt the Iranians are developing small nuclear bombs compatible with missiles. Otherwise there is absolutely no reason for developing ultra-highly enriched uranium since its only virtue is the ability to use it to make small lightweight bombs. The smaller the degree of enrichment, the heavier and the larger the bomb must be. One can use low enriched uranium to make ultra large-sized, heavy, useless bombs. The real issue is they could never use such a bomb on anyone, especially Israel. Would they ever use a nuclear bomb at all? The virtually 100% certain answer is NO unless they are crazy because use of the bomb would guarantee the complete destruction of Iran along with 75 million inhabitants. Hence, along with making us believe they are developing a bomb because of their unwillingness to allow inspection, Ahmadinejad does a great job of convincing us he is deranged and could potentially use a bomb. Fortunately he makes no decisions related to the bomb and the true management is anything but crazy. In any case having a missile compatible bomb (MCB) gives Iran useful credibility and they will exploit it once they have a bomb and they make it known or credible that they have a MCB. It is not clear there is an absolute need to prevent them from having a MCB, but it does carry some risk. So what might we do to block the development? Here is a list of options: 1) destroy their economy by sanctions and the US is working hard at doing that. 2) Make a demonstration of a large US missile targeted onto a remote, uninhabited part of Iran and alarm the population into doing something. Amazingly this is never discussed. 3) Destroy their oil wells and thereby impoverish the country since oil is half their GDP. This will annoy China since Iran supplies considerable oil to China but China’s main supplier is Saudi Arabia (double the amount Iran provides) and Saudi Arabia can easily increase production to compensate for the loss of Iranian oil. I doubt Iran would attempt to close the Strait of Harmuz with its navy consisting of three obsolete destroyers. They might succeed for a few days and then slink off sans navy. The bottom line is the US and Israel are collaborating and planning and they have excellent options. That is unfortunate news for many readers of Haaretz who wish bad things for Israel, but so be it.
U.S. weighs sanctioning Russia as well as China in cyber attacks (Reuters)