John Bolton: Israel could strike Iran after U.S. presidential election
INTERFAX (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
June 27, 2008
The chances that Israel will strike Iran after the U.S. presidential
election are quite high, said John Bolton, a prominent U.S. security expert.
I think that if it does happen, it will not be before November, but before
the U.S. president’s inauguration, he said in an interview with Interfax.
I do not know what is the decision of Israel about using
military force, he said.
However, if Israel decides to use force against Iran, it will
not do so before the U.S. presidential election, said Bolton, who is a
former U.S. undersecretary of state and ambassador to the United Nations.
The Israelis do not want to do anything that could affect the
outcome of the U.S. presidential election either way, he said.
It is clear that they will know at that time who is going to be
the next president. However, the Israelis will feel more secure at the time
when President Bush is still in the White House. But my point of view does
not mean that Israel has made any particular decision, Bolton said.
It is hard to evaluate the consequences, because the event is
going to be quite dramatic, he said.
Bolton said also that the U.S. recognition of Kosovo’s
independent was a serious mistake.
The recognition could escalate tensions in the Balkans, rather
than normalize the situation, he said.
Bosnian Serbs would wonder why not secede from Bosnia if Kosovo
could secede from Serbia, while Belgrade democrats would wonder why their
aspirations for European integration and defense of democratic values was
rewarded in that way (with the recognition of Kosovo), Bolton said.
Hopefully, instability in the Balkans would not deepen,
alongside the risk of violence, said the prominent Republican, who currently
works for the American Enterprise Institute.
The policy on Kosovo has been unaltered since the time Slobodan
Milosevic led Yugoslavia, Bolton said. The opposition to Milosevic was so
strong that the United States gave support to anyone in opposition, he said.
However, the situation changed drastically when a democratic
government took office in Belgrade, and support for Kosovo is now atavistic,
Bolton said. He said he believed that such support might have made sense 15
years ago, but not now.
As for the opinion of the American people about events in
Kosovo, he said, the Americans have no viewpoint on Kosovo. He said
everything had been done by the State Department, while others paid little