“No chance to talk Iran out of nuclear program” – Bolton
On Tuesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterated that his country will not give up its nuclear program no matter what.
He lashed out at Israel, which is believed to have nuclear weapons.
"When an illegal regime possesses nuclear weapons, the other countries' rights for peaceful nuclear energy cannot be denied," he said.
This week the Islamic Republic is expected to respond to a Western proposal to farm out its uranium to Russia and France for enrichment.
Bolton, the US Ambassador to the UN in 2005-2006, says he doesn’t believe Iran will directly endorse the uranium export plan.
“I think it’s a very good deal for Iran – to get its uranium supply of low-enriched uranium enriched to a still higher level of the U-235 isotope,” he said. “That’s moving in the wrong direction from our point of view, but I think that’s why Iran should find it worthwhile.”
The most possible scenario, Bolton said, it that Tehran will do what it typically does: “draw negotiations out, because time works on the side of the would-be proliferators.”
So from the Iranian prospective, he continued, the longer the deal takes, the better.
The Obama administration is locked into a diplomatic approach, Bolton added.
“I think they would be very hesitant to admit that the negotiations have failed, although in fact they have,” he said.
According to Bolton, “there is no chance that Iran will be talked out of its nuclear weapons program.”
From the US prospective, he said, Iran has a lot of time to play with. But, he added, “It doesn’t mean that they have an unlimited amount of time from the Israeli perspective.”
Every day that goes by while the negotiations progress , Bolton said, Iran continues to enrich uranium and the most likely outcome is that the country will succeed in making a nuclear weapon.
At this point, Bolton believes, “it’s really down now to a decision by Israel whether to use preemptive military force against the Iranian nuclear weapons program.”
The US “under the Obama administration,” he said, won’t play any role in a possible Israeli operation.
As for Washington’s reaction if such a strike began, “under the Bush administration there would be a much more favorable response to Israel.” Under Obama, however, “lots of things are possible, including a cut-off of military cooperation.” And that’s one of the most difficult factors, he went on, that the Israeli government has to consider.
The Israeli forces, according to Bolton, “don’t need to use nuclear weapons to carry out a strike against Iran’s program,” since they know where the Islamic nuclear facilities are.
Nevertheless, the risk for the Israelis is that there might be other facilities – like the recently announced one in Qom – that the Iranians have been constructing that the Israelis are not yet aware of.
“I think in the Arab world, the destruction of Iran’s nuclear program would be greeted publicly with criticism of Israel but privately with great relief,” Bolton said.
Meanwhile, Israel is very concerned that Russia might ship the S-300 air defense system, “which would probably rule out an Israeli air strike.”
So, the Israeli decision might come at any point, the former top diplomat believes.