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Bolton to Israel: Attack, It's Your Right

Former U.S. Ambassador to UN says Obama will not attack Iran, so Israel has to do it.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 8/31/2012, 1:38 PM

Parchin site -- aerial view
Parchin site -- aerial view
Reuters

Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, said in an interview published Friday that he does not believe President Barack Obama will order an attack on Iran, now or in the future, and urged Israel to attack Iran's nuclear program on its own.

Speaking to Maariv's Tzach Yoked, Bolton said that "there is no way at this stage to prevent Iran from going nuclear without use of force. It is very unfortunate in my opinion, but I see no possibility that Obama will use military force, and therefore it falls upon Israel. I think that even though the Administration says that containment is not its policy, it will become its policy the day after Iran possesses nuclear weapons. They won't like it, but they do believe that a nuclear Iran can be contained, just as we contained the nuclear Soviet Union during the Cold War."

"Iran is not in a race for building one or two bombs," Bolton continued. "I think they believe that time is on their side and they will continue with what seems like a well thought-out plan, mostly because they believe that the United States under Obama's leadership will do nothing. And of course, they are afraid of Israel, but I think they trust Obama to pressure Israel not to do anything, and until now this has proved right."

"I think Israel, like any other country, has a legitimate right to self defense," Bolton told Maariv. "Israel has twice attacked enemies that were developing nuclear weapons, and it has the right to do so in this case as well." 

In a separate interview for the Intermountain Jewish News, Bolton said he would rather see the U.S. attack Iran: "The US has much greater [military] capabilities [than Israel]. That’s why Israel wants the US to do it. I believe the US should do it because we’ll get blamed anyway. Therefore, we might as well make sure it gets done right."

"I blame not only Obama, but the [G. W.] Bush administration," he added. "Sanctions are only good if they are comprehensive, swiftly applied and rigorously enforced. Obama has met none of those conditions."