Former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said the ouster of embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak would speed the timetable for an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
“Do you think that the Israelis are going to have to strike — they are going to have to take action?” Fox News Republican opinion host Sean Hannity asked the former ambassador on his radio program Monday.
“As you pointed out, ElBaradei ran cover for the Iranians for all those years that he was with the IAEA. And, I just don’t think the Israelis have much longer to wait… they’re going to have to act in fairly short order.”
“I think that’s right,” Bolton responded. “I don’t think there’s much time to act. And I think the fall of a Egyptian government committed to the peace agreement will almost certainly speed that timetable up.”
Bolton chided the protests in Egypt last week, saying that “the real alternative is not Jefferson democracy versus the Mubarak regime, but that it’s the Muslim Brotherhood versus the Mubarak regime, and that has enormous implications for the US, for Israel, and our other friends in the region.”
The former ambassador was appointed to his position by President George W. Bush in 2005 after facing heavy resistance from Democrats. He resigned from his position in December 2006 after failing to be confirmed by the Senate.
Bolton, a neoconservative, has a long history of promoting military strikes on Iran.
In August 2010, he warned that Israel only had eight days to launch an attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities to prevent the nation from acquiring a functioning atomic plant.
“Once that uranium, once those fuel rods are very close to the reactor, certainly once they’re in the reactor, attacking it means a release of radiation, no question about it,” he told Fox Business Network.
“So if Israel is going to do anything against Bushehr it has to move in the next eight days.”
He also predicted in June 2008 that Israel would attack Iran’s nuclear sites before the next US president was sworn in.
“An Obama victory would rule out military action by the Israelis because they would fear the consequences given the approach Obama has taken to foreign policy,” Bolton said. “With McCain they might still be looking at a delay. Given that time is on Iran’s side, I think the argument for military action is sooner rather than later absent some other development.”
Iran’s Russian-built Bushehr nuclear plant has already been hit with a computer worm that damaged the facilities’ centrifuges. The malicious code, known as “Stuxnet,” is suspected to be a joint American and Israeli effort.
A recent Russian intelligence assessment warned that “Stuxnet” could cause a “Chernobyl-like disaster” should the site be switched on.
Iran continues to maintain its nuclear program is for the peaceful generation of energy, not weapons.