In 1996, I asked one of Israel's top security officials, “Are you opposed to Iran having nukes or are you opposed to the ayatollahs having nukes.” Without hesitation he answered, “The latter.”
This revealing comment offers an important insight into the source of Israel's current anxiety about the budding US-Iranian rapprochement. There are two dimensions to this concern. The first, and less important, is the bomb itself as a practical instrument of war. The second, and more significant, factor is Iran's ability to reduce Israel's strategic hegemony over a region spanning — as former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon once declared — from Morocco to Pakistan.