Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton is one of the more outspoken Fox News pundits, nearly always advocating for U.S. and/or Israeli military action to stop Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. But appearing on Fox News today, Bolton, who still supports military action, admitted that military strikes might be incapable of breaking Iran’s control of the nuclear fuel cycle.
Indeed, the comments from Bolton fall in line with Bolton’s former colleague in the George W. Bush Administration, former CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden, who warned recently that bombing Iran may give Tehran an inducement to pursue a nuclear weapon. Bolton told Fox News this afternoon:
BOLTON: They [Israel] may attack now but not really break Iran’s control over the nuclear fuel cycle which is a very unfortunate circumstance. We’re running out of time. Israel’s running out of time. Nobody can calibrate exactly when Iran will get the bomb.
While Bolton and his fellow hawks are quick to refer to Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions as a foregone conclusion, neither senior U.S. intelligence officials now the IAEA have concluded that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon. The IAEA has expressed concerns over a possible military dimension to Iran’s nuclear program and Director of National Intelligence Jame Clapper emphasized that U.S. intelligence sources believe Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has not yet made a decision whether to pursue a nuclear weapon.
Last month, Clapper told Members of Congress that economic pressure from sanctions could effect Iran’s “cost-benefit analysis” and dissuade Tehran from taking the steps necessary for constructing a nuclear weapon.