Bolton:Private Pressure on Israel Not to Attack Iran Is 'Failing'

Tuesday, 21 Feb 2012 04:47 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton says the Obama administration has gone public in recent days with the pressure it has been putting in private on Israel not to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities because behind-the-scenes efforts have been fruitless. Bolton also reiterated to Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren Monday a nuclear Iran would ignite a race in the area for all countries to attain the capability.
 
“I think that it’s a recognition that the private pressure on Israel by the administration for Israel not to strike is failing — and so they’re going public,” Bolton said. “But I think it has two consequences: One, it’s a terrible signal of weakness to Iran that we’re . . . apparently more concerned about an Israeli strike than we are about an Iranian nuclear weapon.

“And I think for Israel, it simply demonstrates nobody else is going to take care of them,” he said. “If they’re going to protect themselves, they’re going to have to do it themselves.”

Bolton noted that if Iran indeed does attain the capability to build a bomb, the threat reaches beyond Tehran sharing the technology with its allies — such as Syria and like-minded terrorist organizations.

“Because if Iran does have a nuclear-weapons capability, Saudi Arabia will get nuclear weapons; Egypt will; Turkey will; perhaps others in the Middle East,” Bolton said. “You could have half a dozen nuclear weapons states there in a relatively short period of time.

“Look, I’d love to believe that President Obama was prepared to use military force to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon — it’s not going to happen. I think Israel has to make a tough very decision,” he added. “But their calculus is not just: Is it a hard mission or will it have an effect on oil prices. They’re looking at the risk of Tel Aviv being turned into a charcoal briquette by an Iranian nuclear weapon. Will they take risks to prevent that from happening? You bet they will.”

Bolton warned that he is convinced Iran will get nuclear weapons “within the year.”  

“The only wild card is whether or not Israel decides to strike,” he said.

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