Russia has announced that it will introduce fuel rods into Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor on August 21, which both Russia and Iran say is purely for civilian use. Appearing on Fox Business channel yesterday to comment on Russia’s move, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton told anchor David Asman, “If Israel’s going to do anything against Bushehr, it has to move in the next eight days.” “The point is that we can’t — we or Israel or whomever — can’t bomb these plants, this nuclear reactor,” Asman observed, “because it would send radiation flying in the air, it would affect thousands of people, Iranians.” Bolton reasoned that an Israeli strike must therefore happen immediately:
BOLTON: Well, unless the Israelis move within the next eight days. Once that uranium, once those fuel rods are very close to the reactor, certainly once they’re in the reactor as you say, attacking it means a release of radiation, no question about it. So if Israel’s going to do anything against Bushehr it has to move in the next eight days. If they don’t, then as I say something Saddam Hussein wanted but couldn’t get, a functioning nuclear reactor — because the Israelis bombed it in 1981 — something that Bashar al-Assad in Syria wanted, a functioning nuclear reactor — until the Israelis bombed it — couldn’t get, the Iranians, sworn enemies of Israel, will have.
ASMAN: Boy, we’ve literally run out of time, but within the next eight days, do you think it’s likely that within the next eight days the Israelis will strike?
BOLTON: I don’t think so, I’m afraid that they’ve lost this opportunity.
So, according to John Bolton, after August 21 there will be no point in striking Iran. Good to know.