Former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton says Israel has speeded up its decision to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities following Russia’s move to sell S-300 missile system to Tehran.
“President [Barack Obama] says all options are on the table. Nobody believes him. The Iranians don’t believe him. The Israelis don’t believe him. He doesn’t believe it,” Bolton said in an interview with Bloomberg on Friday.
“So, the spotlight is on Israel as twice before in their history they’ve struck nuclear weapons programs in the hands of hostile states,” he added.
“Their decision now is enormously speeded up by [Russian President] Vladimir Putin’s decree on Monday to allow the sale of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile defense system” to the Islamic Republic, he said.
The potential 2016 presidential candidate has repeatedly criticized Obama’s foreign policy regarding Iran. He had earlier said that Iran should be bombed by the United States or Israel.
Putin on Monday signed a decree that lifts a ban on the shipment of the S-300 missiles from Russia to Iran.
Meanwhile, President Obama said on Friday that he was not surprised about Russia’s decision to sell S-300 missile system to Iran.
“They [Russians] actually stopped the sale, paused or suspended the sale at our request. And I’m frankly surprised that it held this long, given that they were not prohibited by sanctions from selling these defensive weapons,” Obama said.
Israel, however, denounced Russia's decision over the missile system sale to Iran.
"This is a direct result of the legitimacy that Iran is receiving from the nuclear deal that is being prepared, and proof that the Iranian economic growth which follows the lifting of sanctions will be exploited for arming itself and not for the welfare of the Iranian people," Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said.
Iran and the P5+1 group – the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – reached a framework nuclear agreement in Switzerland on April 2 and the two sides are working to reach a final deal by the end of June.
Speaking at the New Hampshire Republican Party’s “First in the Nation” leadership summit in Nashua on Friday, Bolton once again slammed the framework nuclear agreement.
“President Obama is engaging in what I believe is the greatest display of appeasement from a president in history,” Bolton said. “The Obama administration has taken a position weaker than the UN Security Council.”