The UN-Diplomat: John Bolton Threatens Military Strikes Against Iran
This story is running in the UK's Monday morning The Guardian:
US envoy hints at strike to stop Iran
· Bolton says nuclear plant can be 'taken out'
· UN agency meets to send report to security council
The US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, has told British MPs that military action could bring Iran's nuclear programme to a halt if all diplomatic efforts fail. The warning came ahead of a meeting today of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which will forward a report on Iran's nuclear activities to the UN security council.
Yesterday the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, said: "Nobody has said that we have to rush immediately to sanctions of some kind."
However the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, visiting Washington last week, encountered sharply different views within the Bush administration. The most hawkish came from Mr Bolton. According to Eric Illsley, a Labour committee member, the envoy told the MPs: "They must know everything is on the table and they must understand what that means. We can hit different points along the line. You only have to take out one part of their nuclear operation to take the whole thing down."
It is unusual for an administration official to go into detail about possible military action against Iran. To produce significant amounts of enriched uranium, Iran would have to set up a self-sustaining cycle of processes. Mr Bolton appeared to be suggesting that cycle could be hit at its most vulnerable point.
Yesterday Mr Bolton reiterated his hardline stance. In a speech to the annual convention of the American-Israel public affairs committee, the leading pro-Israel US lobbyists, he said: "The longer we wait to confront the threat Iran poses, the harder and more intractable it will become to solve ... we must be prepared to rely on comprehensive solutions and use all the tools at our disposal to stop the threat that the Iranian regime poses."
I can already hear Bush saying, "Boltie, you're doing a heck of a job." What will be Bush's next excuse starting with "I don’t think anybody anticipated..."?