Friday, March 23, 2007
Former US ambassador to UN John Bolton tells Ynet world has waited too long and has done too little to restrain Iran, deal with its nuclear program. Bolton does not advocate military action, but says current diplomatic efforts have proved futile
"WASHINGTON - John Bolton, the outgoing American ambassador to the UN, said that his country should have launched efforts to topple the Mullahs' regime in Iran four years ago. In a special interview, Bolton told Ynet that he was disappointed by Russia's support of Iran in the UN Security Council, and the failure of diplomatic efforts to address the Iranian nuclear threat.
Bolton served as undersecretary of state for arms control during George W. Bush's firs term in office, and has been the US ambassador to the UN in the past 17 months.
"I'd dealt with the Russians extensively…on a range of proliferation matters. In the discussions on the Security Council over Iran, Russia emerged as Iran's biggest protector, for a variety of reasons, some commercial, some strategic, some just political, as opposition to the United States......
Are there any forces inside Iran that are working to overthrow the regime?
"I think there are a lot of Iranians that are unsatisfied with the regime, I think that there is more unrest there than what people believe, I think that the government is constrained because of the fall of oil prices and there is mismanagement of the oil sector of Iran's economy, they've got fewer resources to spread around to keep the populous happy. "There's a large Iranian diaspora that know what the situation is. So, I think that there are a lot of possibilities. It won't necessarily be easy or quick, but that's not to say we shouldn't be pursuing it. "In think it's very close to the point where Iran will have completely indigenous mastery over the fuel sites, that is to say the point in which stopping the things from the outside will not be sufficient, so I don't think we have much time. That's why all these negotiations with the Europeans have played to Iran's advantage, because time is on their side, time is not on our side." ......
Not through military action?
"I don't think military force is the preferable way to go. I don't rule military force out because as unpalatable as military force might be, Iran with nuclear weapons is even worse. I think you have to show you have tried the alternatives, I think we've spent too much time on this EU-three diplomacy, I think now is the time to ramp up the pressure very dramatically."
What should Israel do? Wait for the world to resolve this?
"I think Israel has to make its own decisions…I think any country threatened with its own survival at stake has to be prepared to do what it has to do. I wouldn't second guess that."........"