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Tags: bolton | middle east | biden | israel

John Bolton to Newsmax: No Mideast Peace While Ayatollahs in Power

By    |   Monday, 15 April 2024 05:36 PM EDT

Former Ambassador and national security adviser John Bolton said lasting peace in the Middle East hinges on the removal of Iran's ayatollahs from power, stressing the imperative for U.S. support for Israel in countering Iranian threats during an interview with Newsmax on Tuesday.

"I don't think there is any chance for broad peace and security in the Middle East until the ayatollahs are removed from power," Bolton told "American Agenda." "It doesn't mean the use of military force. It means we have to be working with the opposition forces inside Iran."

He criticized the Biden administration's response to recent escalations, particularly following an attack on Israeli territory, saying he doesn't "think the Biden administration is capable" of effectively handling the situation. He called for a firm stance in supporting Israel and cautioned against perceived weaknesses in deterring aggression.

"I think they've behaved shamefully in telling Israel that just because nobody died after the Saturday night attack, that that's somehow a win," he added.

Bolton warned of the threat posed by Hezbollah, highlighting the potential vulnerability of Israel's air defense system to mass missile attacks. He suggested preemptive actions against Hezbollah as a strategic consideration for Israel in response to recent hostilities.

"Israel is in a very bad neighborhood. And in particular, we haven't seen the full capacity of Hezbollah — based in Lebanon with well over 100,000 missiles, as a publicly available figure. If launched nearly simultaneously and effectively, that could overwhelm Israel's air defense system. And it could overwhelm any air defense system," he said.

"So Israel has to keep that in mind. And one kind of bank shot that they might consider in responding to the Saturday night attack is to go after Hezbollah first and try and destroy their capabilities before Hezbollah can unleash on Israel," he continued.

Regarding U.S. involvement, Bolton advocated for a supportive role, urging the provision of intelligence and assistance to Israel if it chooses to act against Iranian targets. He criticized the Biden administration's reluctance to support Israel's actions and emphasized the need for a unified stance against aggressors.

"The United States has so far not been willing to strike on Iranian territory because, after all, the Iranians have said, that's a red line. Somebody's got to cross that red line," Bolton said.

"We should participate and assist, at least by providing intelligence that Israel can use and identifying targets on the ground in Iran. And we should make it clear Israel has got a right to do this, and we support the Israeli government," he added.

Reflecting on broader diplomatic challenges, Bolton highlighted the importance of credibility in deterring adversaries, citing past failures in addressing conflicts in Ukraine and deterring Iranian-backed attacks.

"Biden had failed to deter Russia and Ukraine," he said. "He failed to deter Iran from launching a surrogate attack through Hamas against Israel. He failed to deter this Iranian attack on Israel on Saturday. And his rhetoric ... shows division between the United States and Israel, which encourages the aggressors to attack."


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Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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Former Ambassador and national security adviser John Bolton told Newsmax Monday that lasting peace in the Middle East hinges on the removal of Iran's ayatollahs from power.
bolton, middle east, biden, israel
Monday, 15 April 2024 05:36 PM
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