Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire who extensively funded numerous Republican campaigns in the 2012 election, said at a forum Tuesday that President Obama should fire an atomic weapon into the middle of the desert to send a message to Iran.
"What are we going to negotiate about? What I would say is, â€˜Listen, you see that desert out there? I want to show you something,'" Adelson said at Yeshiva University. "You pick up your cellphone, and you call somewhere in Nebraska, and you say, â€˜okay, let it go.â€™ So thereâ€™s an atomic weapon goes over -- ballistic missiles -- in the middle of the desert that doesnâ€™t hurt a soul."
Adelson continued: "Then you say, â€˜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."
The comments were recorded and first reported by foreign policy blogger Philip Weiss, a self-described "progressive Jewish" journalist.
The Obama administration in recent weeks has expressed hope for reaching an agreement with the new president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, who has expressed a willingness to negotiate.
Adelson spent at least $98 million on the 2012 election.