Bolton: Israel May Have to Strike Iran Soon|
by Gil Ronen
17 Shevat 5768, January 24, '08
Published: 01/22/08, 10:44 PM
(IsraelNN.com) Former American Ambassador to the United Nations John
Bolton hinted broadly Tuesday that Israel will have to strike Iran's
nuclear program on its own, and soon. Speaking at the Eighth Herzliya
Conference, Bolton said an Israeli strike could be the last resort against
Iran. Former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, who also spoke at the
conference, hinted that the military option is growing more likely with
Ambassador Bolton devoted the first part of his speech to an attempt to
push the Israeli press into revealing details of the strike against the
suspected Syrian nuclear facility four months ago. "There is a lot that we
don't know about the facility because of the veil of secrecy that the
Israel government and the American government have tried to throw over
it," he said.
"We don't know for example exactly what the facility was – whether it
was a clone of the Yongbyon reactor; whether it was a uranium enrichment
facility; whether it was a storage location for North Korean plutonium or
plutonium based weapons," he added, and explained that he could speak
freely at the conference because the American Constitution's First
Amendment applied to him even when he was abroad (this elicited laughter
from the audience).
Bolton calls Israeli press 'timid'
Bolton went on
to list his conjectures: "We don't know if it was North Korea in effect
renting space in Syria to recreate the North Korean program. We don't know
if it was a sale of technology or equipment from North Korea directly to
Syria and we don't know whether it was a joint venture perhaps between
Syria and North Korea working together," he said. "Our governments,
however, do know the answers to some of these questions."
He continued with a jab at Israel's media: "What I don't understand
really is the timid nature of the Isr
aeli press which I know knows a lot more about this strike than it's been
willing to talk about. I am sure somewhere in the Israeli press there is a
John Peter Zengler who is willing to risk something in order to give the
public more information about this."
don't understand really is the timid nature of the Israeli press which I
know knows a lot more about this strike than it's been willing to talk
John Peter Zengler was an 18th century publisher who was arrested for
libelous sedition after printing criticism of the governor of New York and
then acquitted, in what is considered a landmark trial in the development
of the freedom of the press in the U.S.
Bolton explained that this information is being withheld for fear that
if it came out that North Korea once again, following its game plan, was
engaged in nuclear proliferation contrary to its obligations, it would
embarrass the U.S. which is seeking ways to back off of North Korea.
Iran 'noticed' IAF raid
Regarding the IAF Syria
raid, Bolton said: "The daring and successful Israeli military strike… has
obvious significance for the potential of a military strike against Iran's
nuclear program. I think, given the debacle caused by our National
Intelligence Estimate, that it's close to zero likelihood that President
Bush will authorize use of military force against Iran's program before he
leaves office, absent some dramatic new development."
He concluded: "Certainly in Teheran you can bet that they took careful
notice of what the Israeli Defense Force did. Penetrating
Russian supplied radars very similar to the air defenses that Teheran has;
using techniques that could be very useful for a long range strike against
Iran; this is the kind of operation that the Iranians need
to continue to worry about. Because I think with the collapse of American
policy, the Israeli strike against the Syrian / North Korea facility is
the harbinger of what may be – absent regime change in Teheran – the last
resort… Unless you are prepared to see Iran proceed unmolested toward a
nuclear weapons capability, which this NIE has given them free rein to do
in my judgment, you are coming very close to a decision point in this
country of whether you will use military force to stop Iran."
may be leading in points but the final whistle is still far ahead."
Mofaz: next 2 years critical
Minister Shaul Mofaz
hinted that Israel may indeed attack in Iran in order to prevent it from
acquiring nuclear weapons.
Mofaz noted that the warming of relations between Arab countries like
Egypt and Saudi Arabia with Iran is "moving fast very quickly, while the
world not only is not moving ahead – it is moving backwards."
"This reality," Mofaz said, "is a clear deterioration in the effort to
halt Iran by diplomatic means and therefore the likelihood of the other
options rises." He did cite a window of opportunity for diplomacy,
however: "We have to find other ways to renew the momentum which ha
s weakened… The diplomatic timetable is getting shorter, the next two years
are critical to halt Iran using diplomatic methods," he
time, no leader will be able to say 'we didn't know, we didn't
Mofaz added: "Reality is complex but the picture is very clear: Iran
may be leading in points but the final whistle is still far ahead… It is
clear that the current trend must be reversed; and all the means are
justified. This is a historical time… This time, no leader will be able to
say 'we didn't know, we didn't understand the importance of this time.'
The world must do everything that is necessary in order to assure a future
of peace and prosperity for the next generations as
Original article: Israel National News
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