The show of force ahead of nuclear talks is a well-tested strategy. But only 1 in 10 Iranians support nuclear weapons, and many question the government's legitimacy after June elections.
If Iran plans to make nuclear weapons away from the prying eyes of the international community, it would need a secret facility like the one Obama revealed Friday.
The disputed territory is key to the broader US goal of Arab-Israeli peace. On Monday, Washington hosted the first high-ranking Syrian official in five years.
The tests come shortly after Iran test-fired medium-range missiles and disclosed work on a secret nuclear facility, and as the US is pushing tougher sanctions.
Iran tested two mid-range missiles that can reach Israel and southeastern Europe Monday. The test will help the country perfect its ballistic technology.
Sunday's missile tests come after the US, Britain, and France revealed Iran's secret nuclear facility, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is urging US lawmakers to act now.
Obama can claim some advances, including a toughened international stance toward Iran. But the president also endured a setback on Middle East peace.
Revelations about the Qom facility could give the US and its partners a stronger hand in dealing with Ahmadinejad. But experts say it's no alternative for sanctions.
One issue that should be put on the table is what Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad put on display this week in New York: Iran's religious minorities.