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More Inane Beligerence from John Bolton

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Speaking to an audience at the neoconservative think thank The American Enterprise Institute, John Bolton declared that regime change and targeted military strikes are the only two options facing the US in regards to Iran.

Bolton—who was appointed by President Bush as US Ambassador to the UN though he never received Senate approval to confirm his position—blames this on failed diplomacy.

In a desperate diatribe following a relatively positive report on Iranian nuclear program by the IAEA, Bolton accused the head of the IAEA of not reading the applicable UN documents and engaging in unauthorized negotiations. Bolton casually brushed aside Israel’s nuclear arsenal by arguing that it is not a threat, but rather used as a pretext by the Iranian government. Read the entire NIAC memo below.

Sara Shokravi:

Washington DC – According to former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, there are two options facing the United States in dealing with Iran: regime change and targeted military strikes. These are the costs of failed diplomacy, said Bolton, who served as the acting US representative to the United Nations for 16 months, though never receiving the necessary Senate approval to confirm his position. Bolton argued that diplomacy is not a policy, but rather a utensil, and often times it is not cost free.

Bolton asserted that stringent sanctions should have been placed on Iran three to four years ago so that at this stage the U.S. could have “checked that box and moved on” to the next step.

Bolton also dismissed questions about Iran’s own efforts to initiate diplomacy with the United States, particularly in Afghanistan after 9/11 and again in 2003 with a grand bargain proposal. He vehemently disputed the claim that these efforts on the part of the Iranian government were genuine, saying that it was an “utter piece of nonsense” and “complete fabrication.”

Bolton also accused Mohammad El Baradei, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), of advocating a position on Iran that is not consistent with international law saying that he “hasn’t read the applicable UN documents.” Bolton added that El Baradei has long been an apologist for Iran and has engaged in “unauthorized negotiations.”

Addressing the regional implications of a nuclear Iran and a nuclear free Middle East, Bolton brushed aside Israel’s nuclear capability, arguing that it is not a threat and merely used as a pretext by the Iranian government. He also accused Iran of paralyzing the democratic movement in Syria saying that Iranian hegemony over that country has grown and that the “nuclear kitchen of Iran is moving into Syria.”

The discussion took place at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) where Bolton presented his newly released book, Surrender is not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad. In the book, the former ambassador offers his own personal insight into current international crises including North Korea, Iran, and Darfur.

Irancove @ November 21, 2007

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