Bolton

  • Source: "Kettle of hawks"  

    Iran nuclear deal is called the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). It was signed by Russia, China, Iran, the US and the "E3" (Germany, France, the UK). From the article "The Iran deal was designed as a pragmatic arms-control agreement that cuts off Iran’s route to a nuclear weapon for a period of time. But its opponents have always wanted it to do far more. Some wish it would also check Iran’s prolific meddling across the Middle East. Iran backs Shia militias in Syria and Iraq, stokes the war in Yemen and supports Hizbullah—a Lebanese Shia militia that threatens Israel with thousands of missiles and occasionally fires them. For the accord’s critics, Iran is a “bad actor” to be isolated, not engaged....even on its own terms, as an arms-control pact, the Iran deal falls short. It allows for unprecedented levels of inspection, but critics say that it still allows the Iranians to keep anything they classify as a military site off-limits to inspectors. This is not strictly true—an admittedly slow and cumbersome procedure allows access to such sites if evidence emerges of their being used nefariously."

    Bolton's attitude (from the article): "A few months before the deal was signed in July 2015, Mr Bolton boomed: “The inconvenient truth is that only military action…can accomplish what is required.” Air strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities, he argued, could set the program back by “three to five years”. In an article this year Mr Bolton struck a less bellicose note, claiming that the reactivation of nuclear-related sanctions, plus some new ones, could bring the “seemingly impregnable authoritarian” Iranian regime to its knees. America’s declared policy, he argued, should be to end Iran’s Islamic revolution before its 40th birthday in 2019. But it is unlikely that sanctions, combined with unspecified “material” support for Iranian opposition groups, could bring about regime change, and unclear whether Mr Bolton really believes that they could. About North Korea, he is equally blunt. In August Mr Bolton called talking to the hereditary Marxist dictatorship “worse than a mere waste of time”. If China would not agree to work with America to dismantle Kim Jong Un’s regime (an implausible scenario), the only alternative was “to strike those [nuclear] capabilities preemptively”. In this view, if the proposed summit between Mr Trump and Mr Kim takes place, it may be no more than the prelude to an ultimatum and perhaps even to war."