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April 15, 2016 6:25 pm

Amb. John Bolton: US, Israel Missed Major Opportunities to Take Out Iran’s Nuclear Capabilities

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Former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton. Photo: Richard Pohle.

Former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton. Photo: Richard Pohle.

The US and Israel “missed a huge range of opportunities over the last 10 years” to destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities, a former US Ambassador to the UN told The Algemeiner Thursday evening.

Speaking on the relationship between the US and Israel during a forum sponsored by the Israel Air Force Center Foundation in New York alongside Israel Air Force Brig. Gen. Yaron Rosen, diplomat John Bolton said, “The two countries sort of look at each other and say, ‘Well, why don’t you do it first.’ The fact is a US strike could be more effective because we’ve got better capabilities.”

Bolton — who also serves as chairman of the conservative think-tank the Gatestone Institute — told The Algemeiner that the situation with Iran is becoming increasingly perilous. “I didn’t have any trouble before advocating a strike because I view this nuclear threat as extremely grave,” he said. He went on to explain that the next president of the US will face a “very dangerous” period wherein they must “do the analysis that’s required to come to a decision to use force.”

“Nobody should be under any illusions that this deal solves anything,” Bolton said.

The Obama administration’s arming of allied Arab countries to intimidate Iran into halting its nuclear ambitions also won’t work, said Bolton. “The trouble is that the military assistance we’re giving to friendly Arab states isn’t going to deter Iran. It’s irrelevant to an Iranian nuclear capability. That’s why there is a nuclear arms race because that’s the only thing the Saudis and others view as real,” Bolton explained.

In his address, Bolton made clear that ISIS is also a significant threat. “We still have to deal with ISIS…the threat to innocent civilians comes now,” he said. “As long as ISIS or any other terrorist group has privileged sanctuary, we are vulnerable all around the world.”

The West must go after both ISIS and Iran together, Bolton said, before the two apparent adversaries join forces against their mutual enemies. “I believe the threats posed by Iran and ISIS are grave and growing. Every day that goes by that we don’t collectively deal with them effectively increases the threat,” he said. “We should not ignore the possibility…that if Assad stabilizes and the Russian’s remain…that the Iranian coalition could reach an accommodation with ISIS…and they will mutually go after the real targets, the oil producing monarchies.”

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  • Bob

    I am reading Bolton’s book and he claims back in 2006 that Iran was working to obtain nuclear capability. He basically shows that the UN was powerless to stop them, but he also says that the US Administration did some flipping around on the issue of how strongly to oppose Iran thru his office. Ultimately, he makes it sound like the State Department gave up trying to bring a resolution with any strength to the UN Security Council. This allowed Iran to continue it’s quest for WMD’s. So let’s quit politicizing who is at fault here. There is an arms race, but we need to figure out the best way to stop or slow it down. If blowing up Iran’s plants was the best thing to do then why didn’t we do it back in 2006? Why didn’t we take out North Korea’s back then also? My guess is because those with much better knowledge than me figured it would not be a good idea back then. I’m guessing that those with more knowledge than me now also don’t think it’s a good idea. Let’s not politicize these efforts in the Middle East to keep a lid on the boiling mess overseas.

  • jakob wasi

    Bolton like Wm. Kristol has a sorry track record. Algemeiner would do better to find someone else who is less ingenuous.

  • I totally agree with Ambassador Bolton. We have enabled two mortal enemies to not only threaten us but actually destroy us! The weak-kneed capitulation to Iran has vastly expanded its terrorist capabilities to be used against us, Israel, and the West. Routine, provocative actions like the recent Russian fly-buy within 30 yards of our destroyer and their heightened submarine activity threatens us of a new Cold War which may heat up quickly. This is a consequence of our incoherent, weak, ineffective foreign policy which enables Iran to work toward its ballistic missile program AND prepare for its inevitable nuclear bomb within 10 short years because NO OME FEARS US ANY LONGER. THIS is the legacy of the Obama foreign policy. Middle Eastern nations look toward RUSSIA as a superpower which does what it says. NO ONE TRUSTS US FOR GOOD REASON, especially Israel & the Saudis. Who we elect as President has never been more critical. I personally support Cruz or Kasich for these reasons, not Clinton or Trump.

  • Man can not trust empty talks! It is like been invited to a dinner whish includes USA food, Israeli food, Iranian food and ISIS food from on the road, when starting to eat man find out that all the foods on the table are made from one single component, namely polluted smashed wood from the Nordic lands!
    Who gave the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama, been brain twisted for going for the killing of Mr. Gaddafi, for Norway to rob Gaddafi big money and Obama did also said “if Israel goes against Iran, USA will shot down Israeli airplane forces” the truth reality is “ no man speaks their own words”

  • dante

    with all due respect (and that is considerable):

    Amb Bolton is not really right about the shared opportunities and the reluctance to initiate action: the US, most especially under the current administration, actively subverted Israel and tried to deny Israel the option of attacking the mullahs. (that didn’t stop some malevolent admin moron from insulting the PM for not attacking.)

    the US was in a unique of position of advantage. it could have easily mobilized for an attack and it is conceivable that the very fact of that mobilization would have elicited concessions. had mullah recalcitrance compelled the US to attack, the US had the resources, even as they have been degraded by obama, to deliver a devastating blow to the mullah nuclear program and to the regime. (some imbecile might murmur that such a blow could not have destroyed the nuclear program. and, that might be right. but it is beside the point. it would have delivered a message about the cost and consequences of an iranian weapons program.) in the end, despite his promises that “no deal was better than a bad deal,” “no options are off the table,” and that he would not allow the iranians to achieve a nuclear weapons capability, obama chose appeasement and capitulation and has virtually guaranteed an iranian bomb, unless another American president acts.

    Israel would, of course, have welcomed a joint effort. the reluctance did not come from Israel. so, the view attributed to Amb Bolton is not correct.

  • Sterphen

    Bolton was once ambassador but now deposed and has no status- perhaps only a mad warmonger

  • JEAN

    The US administration, with an Iranian Muslim as chief advisor, will not do anything to hinder Iran.

  • John Bolton is certifiably crazy. He won’t give up his obsession with Iran. Despite overwhelming proof that Iran never had, has or will have a nuclear weapons program he continues to flog this very dead horse.

    Iran is moving forward on every front–economic, political and cultural–having agreed not to do what they never did or intended to do. Although Iran has much to do on the human rights front, this is an issue separate from the phony nuclear issue.

    It is time for Bolton to give it up, and it is especially the case that the world should stop listening to this madman.

    The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.

    • David H

      William, I don’t know what Encyclopedia Britannica article from the dusty volumes stored on your book shelf you are reading, but your whole comment could NOT be MORE ludicrous and out of touch with today’s realities!

      NOW, more than EVER, multiple sources tracking North Korea, Venezuela, Russia, Iran, etc, have come to the same conclusion: it is a RACE Iran is in to develop nuclear weapons.

      Furthermore, a number of experts are convinced that ALL signs point to Iran ALREADY possessing at least ONE nuclear weapon, developed over the years through their semi-clandestine scientific collaboration with the North Korean regime!

      Iran is racing with continuous long-range missile tests that defy the Obama mullah minions and their little paper pact. The missiles and increasing range are the number one priority under open development and open testing. The ranges they are extending can only be to hit other continents, now coming within range of hitting any part of Israel itself.

      The Evidence for a Conclusion that Iran is pursuing developing and equipping missiles to carry nuclear weapons to other countries is growing, not diminishing!

      I suggest you shut the barking dog in your own yard and get on the rational real world caravan carrying the Smart People, William.

  • Chris Rettenmoser

    Irans nuclear program has to be destroyed in the near future,the sooner the better…

  • Greg Bogdanich

    I want to see John Bolton as the next Secretary of State. He speaks the truth and does not mince words. We’d be foolish to not listen to his warnings.

  • Mordecai Ben Ntan

    The world owes a big “thank you” to the idiot Kerry forgiving Iran all they want and billions of dollars.

  • Abu Nudnik

    The GOP nominee should pick Bolton as a running mate.

  • Lia

    Thank you for telling the truth, Ambassador Bolton.

  • Onymous

    Does Bolton really believe that anything the US (with or without Israel) could do by force to Iran’s nuclear development would result in permanent lack of nuclear capacity by Iran? Don’t be silly, John Boy. Iran has for 2,500 years been a major regional power. The Iranian nation has 80 million people and their leaders have a strong sense of themselves, like China, as having been wronged by the West in modern times. That self-image will not go away by force. On a world scale, they are potentially a substantial middle rank power. Iran, like North Korea and Pakistan, have been proxies for nuclear proliferation through China’s active encouragement. Does the US really want to be permanently on entirely hostile terms with Iran? Do you really think that bombing the nuclear facilities will cause the Ayatollah’s regime to fall? Just the opposite.

  • Arthur Safir

    Bolton’s remarks are pure wisdom. Many had better listen before it’s too late.

  • barry

    Amb. Bolton (aka The Walrus) was the ONLY good thing at the un-useful. He will be proved to have been correct. Only it will be too late.