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Daily Israel Report

Ex-U.S. Envoy Bolton: If Obama Wins, Israel Will Attack Iran

John Bolton, ex-American Ambassador to the U.N., told a London newspaper Tuesday that Israel will attack Iran if Obama is elected President.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 6/24/2008, 9:14 AM

John Bolton, former American Ambassador to the United Nations, told a London newspaper Tuesday that Israel will attack Iran if Senator Barack Obama is elected President. He predicted the attack would take place between the day after the elections, in early November, and January 20, when the next president succeeds George W. Bush.

"The argument for military action is sooner rather than later," he told the Telegraph. Bolton asserted that the Arab world would be "pleased" if Israel attacks Iran's nuclear site although he added there would be "public denunciations."
The Arab world would be 'pleased' if Israel attacks Iran's nuclear site.

He said he has given up on the Bush administration's efforts to stop Iran from developing an atomic bomb. "I don't think it's serious any more," he said. "If you had asked me a year ago I would have said I thought it was a real possibility. I just don't think it's in the cards."
 
Bolton told the newspaper that if Senator Obama is elected in November, Israel cannot afford to wait until he takes office on January 20, before taking action. "An Obama victory would rule out military action by the Israelis because they would fear the consequences given the approach Obama has taken to foreign policy," according to Bolton, who served as ambassador to the U.N. for less than two years until 2006.

"My judgment is they would not want to do anything before our election because there's no telling what impact it could have on the election," he added. "The Israelis have one eye on the calendar because of the pace at which the Iranians are proceeding both to develop their nuclear weapons capability and to do things like increase their defenses by buying new Russian anti-aircraft systems and further harden the nuclear installations."  

He said that Israel might be able to delay a strike if Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain is elected. Bolton said the Republican candidate's position is "much more realistic than the Bush administration's stance."

Last week, it was revealed that Israel carried out a long-range air force exercise that apparently was a practice session for an attack on Iran.