The U.S. is seeking to dissuade Israel from attacking Iran's nuclear facilities — when such an act is likely the only way to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, says former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently set off for Jerusalem to convince the Israelis to forego a military strike in favor of President Barack Obama's efforts to deal with the Iranian problem through diplomacy.
But those diplomatic efforts are doomed to fail, according to Bolton, author of "Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations."
In an opinion piece appearing in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal, Bolton observes: "Obama has no new strategic thinking on Iran. He vaguely promises to offer the country the carrot of diplomacy — followed by an empty threat of sanctions down the road if Iran does not comply with the U.S.'s requests."
But "there's no reason Iran would suddenly now bow to Mr. Obama's diplomatic efforts, especially after its embarrassing election in June."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent vow to extend the U.S. "defense umbrella" to Israel is "wholly insufficient to deter Iran from obliterating Israel if it so decides," Bolton also states. "In fact, Mrs. Clinton's comment tacitly concedes that Iran will acquire nuclear weapons."
In the meantime, Iran's continuing progress with its nuclear program and air defenses mean that "Israel's military option is declining over time. It will have to make a decision soon, and it will be no surprise if Israel strikes by year's end," according to Bolton.
He concludes: "Absent Israeli action, prepare for a nuclear Iran."
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