The Corner

The one and only.

Bolton on Iran’s Latest Provocation


If Iran develops nuclear weapons on President Obama’s watch, then Obama will be “a failure,” John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, tells NRO. Such a scenario is increasingly likely, says Bolton, following Iran’s declaration over the weekend that it will build ten more uranium-enrichment plants.

“This announcement is yet one more piece of evidence that the Iranians do not care about the U.N. resolutions they are pursuing,” says Bolton. “The truth is that neither diplomacy nor sanctions will slow them down. They are on the verge of getting nuclear weapons.”

“One consequence of an Iran with ten new enrichment sites is that it dramatically increases the difficulty of countering with a military strike,” says Bolton. “As the chances for using preemptive military force diminish, it becomes more likely that Israel will have to address the issue on their own. The odds that Obama will use force are slim to none.”

“What worries me more than anything else is that many in the Obama administration do not seem as concerned as they should be about Iran getting nuclear weapons,” says Bolton. “They’re saying all of the right things, but there is a school of thought among many that an Iran with nuclear weapons can be contained and deterred. They, of course, prefer that Iran doesn’t go nuclear, but they don’t see that as a dramatically negative outcome. They’re going through the motions. Deep in their hearts, a nuclear Iran is not ideal, but not extremely negative. If that’s true, then that approach is undercutting all of their efforts as they move through Security Council resolution after resolution.”

“I don’t want to say that they’re unconcerned, but they don’t seem to believe that an Iran with nuclear weapons fundamentally changes the balance of power in the region and globally,” concludes Bolton. “The administration appears to see this as a problem that can be contained. I’m more pessimistic.”


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review