WASHINGTON - Former US Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, said on Tuesday that he believes Israel will stage a raid against Iran's nuclear facilities if Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama wins the upcoming presidential elections.
Bolton said the IAF would likely strike in the interim term between election day (November 4th) and the inauguration (January 20th 2009) – while George W. Bush is still in office.
"I think if they are to do anything, the most likely period is after our elections and before the inauguration of the next President," Bolton said in an interview with FOX News.
"I don’t think they will do anything before our election because they don’t want to affect it. And they’d have to make a judgment whether to go during the remainder of President Bush’s term in office or wait for his successor."
In a related interview with the British 'Daily Telegraph,' Bolton said he believed the Arab world would be "pleased" by an Israeli strike.
Their reaction, he told the paper "will be positive privately. I think there'll be public denunciations but no action."
Bolton believes that Israel may consider postponing the attack if Senator John McCain emerges as the victor in the race, and said apprehension of Obama's foreign policy in Jerusalem would likely be the
motivating factor behind an early strike.
The former ambassador, often labeled a resolute neo-conservative, said he found McCain's stance on Iran far more realistic than that of the Bush administration.
Bolton said he doubted Iran would respond immediately with a counterstrike of its own, partially because Tehran would fear an American reprisal.