Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bolton: U.S. backs Israeli pre-emption

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports that John Bolton said America would back Israeli strikes against neighboring nuclear aspirants.

The United States would stand behind any pre-emptive attack by Israel on neighboring countries believed to have nuclear weapons programs, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said in an interview published Tuesday in the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot.

Bolton's remarks following Israel's alleged air raid Sept. 6 in Syria is consistent with longstanding U.S. suspicions that Damascus had received nuclear material from North Korea.

Israel has not formally commented on the incident, which has stirred speculation that a pre-emptive attack on Iran's nuclear facilities could be next. Bolton said such actions would find support in Washington.

"The greatest concern is to prevent Iran and other countries in the region from acquiring nuclear weapons," Bolton said. "We're talking about a clear message to Iran -- Israel has the right to self-defense --and that includes offensive operations against WMD facilities that pose a threat to Israel. The United States would justify such attacks."