First it was the United Arab Emirates ambassador in Washington, now it’s a Saudi Arabian editorial, and John Bolton says the entire Persian Gulf feels the same: an attack on Iran is the only option - if it's not too late.
An editorial in an official Saudi Arabian newspaper indicates that a military attack against Iran might be the only way of stopping it from obtaining nuclear weapons. “Tehran is moving its conflict with the international community into high gear,” the Al Madina daily wrote this week, “and [in this case] some may consider the military option to be the best solution.”
Delaying recourse to this option, the paper continues, “may lead to a point where it is impossible to implement it - if Tehran manages to produce a nuclear bomb of its own.”
Former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton goes a bit further, saying it is the only way of stopping it – but adds that it might already be too late.
Just last month, the United Arab Emirates ambassador to Washington said at a conference, "A military attack on Iran by whomever would be a disaster, but Iran with a nuclear weapon would be a bigger disaster."
Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba was unusually candid in his remarks, saying, "I think it's a cost-benefit analysis. I think despite the large amount of trade we do with Iran, which is close to $12 billion… there will be consequences, there will be a backlash and there will be problems with people protesting and rioting and very unhappy that there is an outside force attacking a Muslim country; that is going to happen no matter what… Am I willing to live with that, versus living with a nuclear Iran? My answer is still the same: 'We cannot live with a nuclear Iran.' I am willing to absorb what takes place at the expense of the security of the U.A.E."
Former Ambassador Bolton feels that many states in the Persian Gulf region feel the same. He told Army Radio today (Thursday), however, that it might very well be too late to attack Iran because of the radioactivity that will emanate from the bombed reactor, harming the civilian population.
"Diplomacy and sanctions against Iran have failed," Bolton told Army Radio's Nitzan Fisher on the Ma Bo'er program, "and don't think the West took seriously enough Iran's efforts over the course of decades to get nuclear power. Frankly, I think the most likely outcome now is that indeed Iran does get nuclear weapons. I think the only possibility of stopping this is the use of military force - an extremely unattractive option, but it's even more unattractive to consider a world in which Iran has nuclear weapons."
He explained, though, that it might be too late: "With Russia beginning to supply fuel in Bushehr [two days from now], it makes the reactor essentially immune to attack, except in the most dire circumstances - because to attack it would mean, almost inevitably, the release of radioactivity into the atmosphere and possibly into the waters of the Persian Gulf."
"I don't think there's a ghost of a chance that the Obama Administration will use force against Iran's nuclear weapons program," Bolton said. "If anyone will do it, it's going to have to be Israel - and I don't know what Israel is going to do... I am very worried that Obama's fallback position is to accept an Iran with nuclear weapons. I think that can have potentially catastrophic consequences in the Middle East and beyond - but I think that's where the Obama Administration is."
Iran's Defense Minister Ahmed Wahidi said this week that Israel's existence will be endangered if it attacks the Bushehr reactor. He said such an attack would be an "international crime."