Sanctions and diplomacy have failed and it may be too late for internal opposition to oust the Islamist regime, leaving only military intervention to stop Iran's drive to nuclear weapons, the US's former ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.
Worse still, according to Ambassador Bolton, the Bush administration does not recognize the urgency of the hour and that the options are now limited to only the possibility of regime change from within or a last-resort military intervention, and it is still clinging to the dangerous and misguided belief that sanctions can be effective.
As a consequence, Bolton said he was "very worried" about the well-being of Israel. If he were in Israel's predicament, he said, "I'd be pushing the US very hard. I am pushing the US [administration] very hard, from the outside, in Washington."
Bolton, however, was witheringly critical of the ongoing diplomatic contacts with Teheran, which he said were merely playing into the hands of the regime.
"The current approach of the Europeans and the Americans is not just doomed to failure, but dangerous," he said. "Dealing with [the Iranians] just gives them what they want, which is more time...
"We have fiddled away four years, in which Europe tried to persuade Iran to give up voluntarily," he complained. "Iran in those four years mastered uranium conversion from solid to gas and now enrichment to weapons grade... We lost four years to feckless European diplomacy and our options are very limited."
We cannot afford to give them more time. Stopping Iran now is our best option. If we sit here and make more threats of diplomatic sanctions we might as well be giving them our blessing at attacking Israel, and us eventually.