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John Bolton on Iran pulling the strings in the Mideast conflict

Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) Webinar

With the world’s focus on Israel’s war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, many have neglected to address the root cause of this war: The Islamic Republic of Iran and its funding of terrorist proxies.

Iran itself wants to avoid a direct conflict with Israel, and, specifically, the United States and Western powers. Instead, it uses the military might it supports across the Mideast to do its bidding—from Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen, among others.

Beyond that, a recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued on Feb. 26 states that Iran has been in noncompliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) and the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, meaning that the Iranians are failing to account for their nuclear activities. As the world is preoccupied elsewhere, it continues to enrich uranium levels above those once proscribed in the 2015 nuclear deal—also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

In an interview with IAEA director general Rafael Grossi two weeks ago, he described the situation with Iran and its failure to live up to the NPT as “immensely concerning.” Iran has barred at least one-third of IAEA inspectors from visiting suspicious nuclear sites since last fall.

On Feb. 12, Ali-Akbar Salehi, the former head of Iran’s nuclear agency, implied in his remarks that Iran has everything it needs for an atomic bomb. In a televised interview, Salehi, who was also previously foreign minister (2010-13), was asked if Iran has achieved such capability. Avoiding a direct answer, he stated, “We have [crossed] all the thresholds of nuclear science and technology. Here’s an example: Imagine what a car needs; it needs a chassis, an engine, a steering wheel, a gearbox. You’re asking if we’ve made the gearbox, I say yes. Have we made the engine? Yes, but each one serves its own purpose.”

How is the international community responding to this looming threat of an Iranian nuclear bomb? With the implementation of the JCPOA, has the international community failed to address Iranian sanctions, and is it simply allowing the sunset clauses to lapse? Are we merely addressing the symptoms of this problem and not the disease?  

Answer these key questions is former U.S. National Security Advisor and Ambassador John Bolton.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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