LOS ANGELES – The former US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, laid out a bleak formula for the future of Iran and Israel’s prospects in the Middle East while speaking at a Los Angeles synagogue on Thursday.
“The only question is whether Iran gets a nuclear weapon sooner or later,” said Bolton, who served as George W. Bush’s United Nations representative from 2005 to 2006.
But the direct atomic threat is eclipsed by the fact that the “world’s central banker of international terrorism will have effective impunity when it gets nuclear weapons.” The result, he told a crowd of several hundred, is that it will move from a pariah state to nuclear state, freeing it from any diplomatic and financial constraints and allowing it to bankroll regional terrorism.
The remarks come just a day after Iran accepted an invitation to participate in UN talks in Vienna, aimed at finding a political solution to the conflict in Syria. Unlike previous conferences, the US administration did not object to Iran’s participation.
For Bolton, the White House’s shift in tone towards Iran is a dangerous precedent.
“Bringing them in to talk about the war against [Islamic State] is a mistake, it legitimizes the regime,” he said in an interview before going on stage, where he appeared opposite Israeli Brig.-Gen. (res.) Israel “Relik” Shafir.