AP: Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton says the United States may not be able to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons because the Bush administration is following a flawed diplomatic strategy. Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) – Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton says the United States may not be able to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons because the Bush administration is following a flawed diplomatic strategy.
In an interview with Fox News airing Wednesday night, Bolton said that contrary to administration claims, the U.N. Security Council resolution against Iran that was approved last month is “very weak.”
Bolton stepped down in December after serving as U.N. ambassador for 16 months. He was the point man for the administration in the diplomatic debate over the resolution.
The former envoy said the diplomatic means chosen by the administration to halt Iran’s nuclear program may not achieve the desired ends.
“The disjunction between that objective and the diplomacy we have been pursuing is ultimately going to be a problem for the president,” Bolton said.
He added that the administration placed too high a priority on achieving unity in the council.
“Pursuing the goal of unity detracts from the substantive goal of preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons,” Bolton said.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Bolton and his U.N. team should take “great pride” in winning the 15-0 council vote against Iran. He said the U.S. would have preferred a stronger resolution but noted that compromise is a central element of international diplomacy.
On Dec. 24, after two months of debate, the council voted unanimously to punish Iran for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment.
The resolution orders all countries to stop supplying Iran with materials and technology that could contribute to its nuclear and missile programs. It also freezes Iranian assets of 10 companies and 12 individuals related to those programs.
“Is it a good, strong resolution? Yes,” McCormack said. “And is it having real effects on Iran and their ability to develop nuclear weapons? I would argue yes to right now, and I think probably even more down the road if they continue down the current line of behavior.”