Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton was impressed with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech Thursday at the U.N. on several levels.
The Israeli leader announced a red line for Iran to stop its nuclear program – spring or early summer. Presumably military action would follow if Iran violates that marker.
Bolton actually sees the red line as a mistake strategically. “But in political terms, it's important for a leader of a democratic country,” he told Greta Van Susteren of Fox News. “He has to be able to justify to his fellow citizens, if he's about to make the very hard and risky decision to use military force against Iran's nuclear weapons program.”
Second, Netanyahu made a very effective argument against relying on economic sanctions to stop Iran's nuclear weapons program, Bolton said. “Continued reliance on sanctions benefits Iran because it provides the illusion that we're doing something about the nuclear program, when, in fact, it simply gives Iran more time.”
And Netanyahu did President Barack Obama a favor by pushing the red line back a bit from earlier indications, Bolton said. “He actually gave the Obama administration a concession. I think he was saying to Obama, calm down, I'm not going to do anything before Nov. 6. And he was indicating to Gov. Romney he's not going to do anything before the Jan. 20 [inauguration date.]”
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