Robert Gates has evidently sipped James A. Baker III's Kool-Aid. At his confirmation hearing he explicitly mentioned Israel as a nuclear power -- something that the US government takes pains to avoid stating. He also said this about Iran's quest for nukes:
"They are surrounded by powers with nuclear weapons - Pakistan to their east, the Russians to the north, the Israelis to the west, and us in the Persian Gulf."
Thus, Gates noted:
". . . while they are certainly pressing, in my opinion, for a nuclear capability, I think that they would see it in the first instance as a deterrent."
In other words, each nuclear power is somehow a threat to Iran so it needs a deterrent. That thought-process should be a fireable offense in the US government. There is no calculation that can equate Iran's desire for nuclear weaponry with Israel's absolute need for it. There is no mental gymnastics that can be performed that result in a defensible position that Iran will, despite its stated intentions, refrain from trying to blast Israel to oblivion.
Gates is a fool. So is this President.