Bombing Iran is the only effective way to stop its nuclear threat in its tracks and prevent a regional nuclear arms race, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations wrote n The New York Times Thursday.
Bolton previously has called on Israel to bomb Iran. With the United States and the other P5+1 powers on the verge of signing a deal with Iran, Bolton wrote that neither sanctions nor a “bad deal” will prevent what he called a “bad situation” from becoming the “brink of catastrophe”
The arms race has begun….No way would the Sunni Saudis allow the Shiite Persians to outpace them in the quest for dominance within Islam and Middle Eastern geopolitical hegemony….
Ironically perhaps, Israel’s nuclear weapons have not triggered an arms race. Other states in the region understood — even if they couldn’t admit it publicly — that Israel’s nukes were intended as a deterrent, not as an offensive measure.
Iran is a different story. Extensive progress in uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing reveal its ambitions. Saudi, Egyptian and Turkish interests are complex and conflicting, but faced with Iran’s threat, all have concluded that nuclear weapons are essential.
He pointed out that “Saudi Arabia has signed nuclear cooperation agreements with South Korea, China, France and Argentina, aiming to build a total of 16 reactors by 2030..” Pakistan, whose leaders recently met with Saudi officials, could supply Egypt and Turkey with nuclear technology, and there always is North Korea ready to make a buck by helping to arm the world with nukes.
“Iran will not negotiate away its nuclear program,” Bolton wrote. “Nor will sanctions block its building a broad and deep weapons infrastructure. The inconvenient truth is that only military action like Israel’s 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor in Iraq or its 2007 destruction of a Syrian reactor, designed and built by North Korea, can accomplish what is required.
“Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed.”
One of the formidable obstacles to an attack on Iran is the difficulty of reaching its underground nuclear sites, but Bolton argued Thursday that there is no need to destroy Tehran’s entire nuclear infrastructure.
It is enough to set back Iran’s nuclear program by three to five years, he said.
He concluded that if President Barack Obama does not stop Iran’s nuclear development program, his “biggest legacy could be a thoroughly nuclear-weaponized Middle East.”