By JPOST.COM STAFF \11/18/2016
Former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said on Thursday that the only “long-term solution” to erasing the threat Iran poses to the Middle East is regime change, according to Politico citing an interview he gave to Breitbart News Daily.
Bolton, a veteran diplomat who served in former US president George W. Bush’s administration, has been floated as a possible contender for US Secretary of State following the presidential election victory of Donald Trump on November 8.
“The ayatollahs are the principal threat to international peace and security in the Middle East,” Bolton told Breitbart.
“Now, their ouster won’t bring sweetness and light to the region, that’s for sure, but it will eliminate the principal threat.”
Bolton continued by arguing that the people of Iran would welcome a new government in the Islamic Republic, and the US should be a sponsor of opposition groups looking to topple the current regime.
“I think the people of Iran would long for a new regime…I don’t think the regime is popular, but I think it has the guns. And I think there are ways of supporting the opposition that does not involve the use of American military force, that does involve helping the opposition to get a different kind of government.”
He acknowledged, however, that “a new government may not be filled with Jeffersonian Democrats, either.”
Bolton is a controversial figure in US diplomatic circles, known for his hawkish foreign policy attitudes and adversarial disposition towards the UN, stating in the past that “The Secretariat Building in New York has 38 stories… If you lost ten stories today, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference,” according to The Washington Post.
He later commented that “there is no United Nations… there is an international community that occasionally can be led by the only real power left in the world, and that’s the United States.”
The former ambassador has advocated for attacks on Iran in the past, telling The Jerusalem Post Israel should have carried out a preemptive strike against the Islamic Republic back in 2013.
“Israel should have attacked Iran yesterday – every day that goes by puts Israel in greater danger, every day Iran makes more progress,” he told the Post.
“I can understand why Israel wants us to take action, but the longer Israel waits for something that is not going to happen, the greater the danger Israel is in,” he added.
Bolton made the comments a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran was approaching the red line he set out at the UN in the fall of 2012, who said that Israel could attack Iran as a last resort to prevent it from gaining nuclear weapons capability.
Bolton later said that the nuclear deal signed between world powers and the Islamic Republic last year was “unacceptable,” describing it as a “total failure” that should be rethought, according to Breibart News.
Ariel Ben Solomon contributed to this report.