The Gaurdian Unlimited (UK) have reported that John Bolton the US Embassador to the UN has told British MP’s that a militarty strike could halt Irans nuclear programme if diplomatic efforts fail.
Why would this be made public now, are diplomatic means already failing and this is just a warning to Iran and a way of justifing any US miltary actions when they happen?
The US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, has told British MPs that military action could bring Iran’s nuclear programme to a halt if all diplomatic efforts fail. The warning came ahead of a meeting today of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which will forward a report on Iran’s nuclear activities to the UN security council.
The council will have to decide whether to impose sanctions, an issue that could split the international community as policy towards Iraq did before the invasion.
Yesterday the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, said: “Nobody has said that we have to rush immediately to sanctions of some kind.”
However the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, visiting Washington last week, encountered sharply different views within the Bush administration. The most hawkish came from Mr Bolton. According to Eric Illsley, a Labour committee member, the envoy told the MPs: “They must know everything is on the table and they must understand what that means. We can hit different points along the line. You only have to take out one part of their nuclear operation to take the whole thing down.”
It is unusual for an administration official to go into detail about possible military action against Iran. To produce significant amounts of enriched uranium, Iran would have to set up a self-sustaining cycle of processes. Mr Bolton appeared to be suggesting that cycle could be hit at its most vulnerable point.
The CIA appears to be the most sceptical about a military solution and shares the state department’s position, say British MPs, in suggesting gradually stepping up pressure on the Iranians.