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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

avatar by Lea Speyer

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.

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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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