Former Bush administration ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton said in an interview on Fox News on Thursday that economic sanctions on Iran and assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists are “half-measures” and that bombing Iran is a better option.
“Half-measures like assassinations or sanctions are only going to produce the crisis more quickly,” Bolton said. “The better way to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons is to attack its nuclear weapons program directly.”
The harsh U.S.-led economic sanctions that have been placed on Iran are supposedly an attempt to curb its nuclear ambitions, despite a recognition on the part of the entire U.S. intelligence community, the Obama administration, and the latest IAEA report that Iran’s nuclear program is civilian in nature.
The U.S. denies involvement in a series of assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists, the latest of which occurred this week and which would be a violation of international law if part of a covert program. Still, the murders are widely thought to be the work of U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies, and apparently that is the view of John Bolton as well.
The prospect of a military attack on Iran would not only be devastating to Iranian civilians and extremely costly for the U.S., but it is highly unlikely to be effective in forcing Iran to give up its (civilian) nuclear program and would likely set off a regional conflagration that would be more violent than when the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, under similar pretexts.
“I think all of these efforts are doomed to failure,” Bolton said, “and in fact the consequence of increasing the sanctions is simply to persuade Iran to finish — to get on with the business of finishing its nuclear weapon.”
Here Bolton recognizes that U.S. aggression towards Iran – which currently includes an elaborate spy program, cyber-attacks, commercial sabotage, proxy wars, and garrisoning Iran’s surroundings with provocative militarism – only increases the threat environment for Iran and increases the likelihood that the regime decides to attain a nuclear deterrent. Still, he and others of his elite station, argue for another war.