So how is it different when Israel raises the atomic threat, than when Iran does it?
Well, let's see. Iran has a history of being taken over by political nutballs and using extreme rhetoric against its adversaries that usually don't lead to anything.
Israel has a history of attacking with little or no warning and engaging in extreme military responses.
So when Israel, or someone with credibility, hints that Israel will use nuclear force to eliminate Iran's nuclear potential, the globe shudders. Especially when delivered through a media vehicle like Britain's The Sunday Times.
Quickly Israel has moved to deny any such idea. Click on the title to this post to see an article in The Australian.
But remember, the world of diplomacy is primarily one of words. Just the suggestion that Israel would attack Iran in this manner will have an effect. Maybe it will temper the Big Mouth In Tehran into worrying more about his own political base.
If that's the case, then it wouldn't be such an unproductive balloon.