Former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton has scoffed at growing concerns that President Barack Obama plans to get the approval of the U.N. Security Council for his proposed nuclear deal with Iran.
In an opinion column for The Wall Street Journal
, Bolton says that many critics, including Republicans, fear that such a move would inexorably "bind the U.S." to the imminent agreement "circumventing congressional scrutiny."
"Moreover, Iran may see U.N. action as protecting it from a subsequent change in U.S. policy," wrote Bolton, who admitted last year that he was mulling over a run for the White House in 2016.
"There is no need for worry. The Security Council
can do nothing to limit America's freedom to break from this agreement or take whatever action it deems necessary to protect itself."
Bolton says the U.N. will probably create a Security Council committee to monitor whether Iran complies with any deal with the U.S. and other world powers to prevent the Islamic Republic from building a nuclear weapon in return for an easing of tough economic sanctions.
"But neither the U.S. nor any other U.N. member must accept the committee's judgment that Iran is in compliance when it has contrary information," Bolton wrote. "Washington can act on what it knows, whether or not it discloses the extent of its knowledge."
Bolton said that in light of Iran's disappointing history of adhering to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and ignoring U.N. resolutions on stopping uranium-enrichment activities, Tehran will "almost certainly begin violating the deal before the ink is dry."
"Security Council committees will be bystanders, and the U.S., Israel and others threatened by a nuclear-capable Iran will rely on their own intelligence to detect Iranian cheating," he said.
But Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, goes on to point out that the Security Council cannot prevent the U.S. "from using force to protect itself from Iranian nuclear weapons."
He noted that Article 51 of the U.N. Charter affirms "the inherent right of individual and collective self-defense," which means that decisions relating to self-defense rest with each member state.
"Suppose the new U.S. president in 2017 decided to use military force to break Iran's control over the nuclear-fuel cycle at one or more points," Bolton said. "The U.S. could veto any draft resolutions designed to forestall an attack or halt one in progress, or impose sanctions afterward."
He summed up by saying: "Little or no good will come of Mr. Obama's plan to have the Security Council bless his Iran deal. But it is far better to expose the deal's manifold deficiencies than to pay much mind to any charades at Turtle Bay."
The Turtle Bay neighborhood in New York City is the location of the United Nations building.
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