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Former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton: 'Israeli Air Strike Against Nuclear Installation in Syria Would Also Send Message to Iran'

John Bolton, Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N

John Bolton, the Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., has said the alleged Israeli air strike against a Syrian nuclear installation on September 6th would also send a message to Iran. Bolton was interviewed in New York by Israel's Channel 10 TV network. The former American diplomat had previously warned about nuclear cooperation between North Korea and Syria.

Question: What can you tell us about the nuclear linkage between Syria, North-Korea and Iran?

Bolton: Both North-Korea and Iran today have very strong incentives to hide their nuclear activity from the international community, So putting it in Syria or some other country is obviously a very good way to do that. Syria does have an interest in a nuclear program, so you put all of that together and it certainly raises very legitimate questions that I think the government of Israel and the government of the United States need to address quite seriously.

Question: Do you have any reason to suspect that Syria was building there a nuclear facility?

Bolton: Well again, I think it would be unusual for Israel to conduct a military operation inside Syria other than for a very high value target and certainly a Syrian effort in a nuclear weapons would qualify. I think the United States should welcome this activity. Israel is perfectly entitled to act in its own self-defense and to act preemptively if the need arises, so I think this is a clear message not only to Syria, I think it is a clear message to Iran as well, that its continued efforts to acquire nuclear weapons are not going to go unanswered.

Syrian President Bashar Assad

Question: Do we need to be worried about Bashar Assad's nuclear ambitions too?

Bolton: I think very definitely. We know that Syria has had a chemical  and biological weapons effort, we know they have had a ballistic missile program, but obviously a nuclear option would put them in an even stronger position. I don't think Syria would cooperate with North-Korea without Iran's acquiescence at a minimum and perhaps with Iran's active cooperations.

David Essing

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