'Obama resigned to nuclear Iran'

ByJPOST.COM STAFF
March 28, 2010 05:31

Bolton says Washington pressuring Israel not to strike nuke facilities.




John Bolton.

John Bolton 311. (photo credit:Associated Press)

Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton expressed concern Sunday that Washington was coming to terms with a nuclear Iran.

“I very much worry the Obama administration is willing to accept a nuclear Iran, that's why there's this extraordinary pressure on Israel not to attack in Iran,” Bolton told Army Radio.

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The former envoy claimed that this pressure was the focus of last week's meetings in Washington between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyhau and US officials, including President Barack Obama.

Bolton said that the Obama administration had embraced the view, prevalent in Europe, that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the key to the resolution of all other conflicts throughout the Middle East, including the Iranian conflict.

He added that the rift in US-Israel relations stemmed from a fundamental difference in the understanding of the Middle East and Israel's role in the Middle East, and is not really about east Jerusalem at all.

Bolton said that the treatment Netanyahu received during his visit "should tell the people of Israel how difficult it's going to be dealing with Washington for the next couple of years."

On Saturday, meanwhile, The New York Times reported that international inspectors and Western intelligence agencies suspect that Teheran is preparing to build more sites in defiance of United Nations demands.

According to the report, half a year after the revelation of a secret Iranian nuclear enrichment site northeast of Qom, the UN inspectors assigned to monitor Iran’s nuclear program are now searching for evidence of two additional sites, prompted by Israeli assessments as well as by recent comments by a top Iranian official that drew little attention in the West.

The paper said that the inspectors were looking into the mysterious whereabouts of recently manufactured uranium enrichment equipment.

In an interview with the Iranian Student News Agency, the official, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had ordered work to begin soon on two new plants. The plants, he said, “will be built inside mountains,” presumably to protect them from attacks.

“God willing,” Mr. Salehi was quoted as saying, “we may start the construction of two new enrichment sites” in the Iranian new year, which began March 21.

One European official noted to the Times that “while we have some evidence,” Iran’s heavy restrictions on where inspectors can travel and the existence of numerous tunneling projects were making the detection of any new enrichment plants especially difficult.

The paper went on to quote American officials as saying that Israel had "pressed the case" with their American counterparts that evidence points to what one senior administration official called “Qom lookalikes.” 

The revelation that inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, now believe that there may be two new sites comes at a crucial moment in the White House’s attempts to impose tough new sanctions against Iran, the Times report added.

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