Sheldon Adelson’s call for a nuclear strike on Iran is causing overseas business problems for the billionaire casino magnate.
In his daily radio op-ed on Spain’s Cadena Ser, Miguel Ángel Aguilar, the former editor of the worldwide Spanish-language wire service EFE, called on the Spanish government to reject a proposal by Adelson to build a casino near Madrid as a consequence of Adelson’s statement.
At a panel discussion hosted by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach at Yeshiva University on October 23, Adelson suggested that the United States strike an unpopulated area of Iran with a nuclear missile as a negotiating tactic. “Then you say, ‘See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business,” Adelson said.
Adelson’s firm, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, has asked the Spanish government for tax incentives, among other legislative concessions, in return for the construction of a casino in the town of Alcorcón.
“Such an angel should not live among us,” Aguilar argued, citing Adelson’s bomb Iran proposal. “Basta ya (enough)!”
In an October 24 statement, an Adelson spokesman said that the nuclear strike idea had been “hyperbole.” Boteach, defending Adelson in the same statement, said that Adelson’s remark had been “innocuous.”
“Those who seem alarmed by Sheldon’s overstatement on the extent to which the United States should go to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon will at least protest that much more loudly against its actual development,” Boteach said.
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.