Bolton: Obama pressuring Israel on nukes

Former UN ambassador says nuke-free ME proposal is targeted at Israel.

May 4, 2010 11:33
2 minute read.
John Bolton.

John Bolton 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)


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Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton expressed general concern Tuesday with the  US President Barack Obama's pressure on Israel to rid the country of nuclear weapons.

"Egypt and the Obama administration are negotiating right now on an Egyptian proposal for a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East, which certainly sounds good," Bolton told Army Radio."Except when you think about it, there is only one country that resolution is targeted at and that is Israel."

"When I was in the Bush administration we refused to even talk about these kinds of ideas," Bolton said. "I'd be quite worried about the possible outcome there."

"The president is not happy with Israel's nuclear capabilities. I think he would be delighted if Israel gave up its nuclear weapons," Bolton asserted.
"The only unknown answer at this point is exactly how much pressure he would exert on Israel to do just that. Part of that pressure is being exerted right now by even considering the possibility of a conference on a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East."

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'ME may become nuke-free zone'

Bolton also expressed his disapproval, yet not surprise, at the fact that the UN hosted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference on Monday.

"This is nothing exceptional for the UN, this is the way the UN is day in and day out," Bolton told the radio station. "This is not some isolated problem we could fix with the UN by banning the likes of
Ahmadinejad, this is the way the organization works."

"The only good thing I could say about it is that he [Ahmadinejad] typically says such ridiculous things that I'm not sure he doesn't pose more problems for his own position by coming than by not coming," Bolton said.

Bolton also expressed his general
dissatisfaction with the UN and its operations."I think there ought to be a much broader debate worldwide of the ineffectiveness of the United Nations. If you look at the performance of the UN in dealing with the great threats to international peace and security during its history, the Security Council has been utterly ineffective in dealing with those great threats," Bolton underlined.

"Some people have recommended alternatives like a league of democracies," the
former UN ambassador added. "My recommendation is that the US makes all its contributions to the United Nations system entirely voluntary."

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