Former Bush Ambassador John Bolton has been one of the few defenders of the Mubarak regime in Egypt after massive anti-government protests broke out there last week. Yesterday on Fox News host Sean Hannity’s radio program, Bolton continued his defense of the authoritarian regime, noting the “substantial economic growth” under Mubarak’s reign, and warned that the dictator’s downfall would “speed” the timetable for what he views as an inevitable war with Iran:
HANNITY: Do you think that the Israelis are going to have to strike — they are going to have to take action. … As you pointed out, ElBaradei, you know, ran cover for the Iranians for all those years that he was with the IAEA. And, I just don’t think the Israelis have much longer to wait…they’re going to have to act in fairly short order.
BOLTON: I think that’s right. I don’t think there’s much time to act. And I think the fall of a Egyptian government committed to the peace agreement will almost certainly speed that timetable up.
Bolton has long been an advocate of bombing Iran, exploiting any convenient development in international relations as further cause to fuel up the bombers. Of course, any military action against Iran by Israel would likely drag in the U.S. as well, as Bolton himself has pointed out. On Friday, a “diverse” panel of experts at the World Economic Forum in Davos strongly warned against an Israeli attack on Iran, agreeing it would spark a “devastating counterattack” with wide-ranging negative consequences.
Bolton’s message reflects a growing trend among the right to use the Egyptian protests to scare monger about Iran, especially after Mohamed ElBaradei, the former International Atomic Energy Agency chief weapons inspector, returned to his native Egypt following the protests. ElBaradei had a very contentious relationship with Iran while he was tasked with monitoring the country’s nuclear program on behalf of the international community. Nonetheless, Hannity and a host of other right-wing personalities have baselessly smeared ElBaradei for “r[unning] cover for the Iranians for all those years that he was with the IAEA.”