Bolton: Israel Has Until End of Week to Strike Iran
Humanitarian risk could be too great if no action taken.
According to John Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Israel has until the week’s end to attack Iran before the humanitarian risk becomes too severe.
Fox News recently reported that a Russian company is expected to help Iran load nuclear fuel into its plant beginning on Saturday, after which an attack on Iran’s Bushehr reactor could set off harmful radiation.
According to Bolton, then, it is in Israel’s best interest to prevent this from happening as soon as possible, as unless Israel moves swiftly to shut down the facility, it will be too late to avoid the potential harm.
"Once it's close to the reactor ... the risk is when the reactor is attacked, there will be a release of radiation into the air," Bolton told FoxNews.com. "It's most unlikely that they would act militarily after fuel rods are loaded."
On Tuesday, Bolton told Fox Business Network that Israel will have to move in the "next eight days" if they want to attack the Bushehr facility, as this is the window between when the start-up was announced, and the loading date.
Iranian officials, however, maintain the reactor is for peaceful purposes, despite Bolton’s warnings about the danger of the reactor once up and running.
"What this does is give Iran is a second route to nuclear weapons in addition to enriched uranium," Bolton said. "It's a very, very huge victory for Iran."
Bolton, who was U.S. ambassador during the Bush administration, was doubtful that Israel is planning a military strike, but did not rule it out.
"If they were going to do anything, they certainly wouldn't be talking about it," he said.
According to Fox News, he also noted that the reactor gives Iran something that both Iraq and Syria were never able to achieve, as their facilities had been destroyed.
"Iran will have achieved something that no other opponent of Israel, no other enemy of the United States really in the Middle East has, and that is a functioning nuclear reactor," he told the Fox Business Network.
On Tuesday, Iranian officials warned Israel against military action. According to Ahmad Vahidi, Iran's defense minister, Israel would be taking a huge risk with such an attack.