From DEBKAfile, January 22, 2008, 11:12 PM (GMT+02:00) [emphasis added - SL]:
At a lecture in Herzliya, Israel, Jan. 22, the former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton said: “One can say with some assurance that in the next year the use of force by the United States is highly unlikely” – especially since a US intelligence report claimed Iran had suspended a nuclear program in 2003.
Bolton went on to estimate that further UN sanctions against the Islamic Republic would be ineffective in stopping Iran’s military program. “Another resolution will be even more toothless than the previous two sanction resolutions,” he said.
“This increases the pressure on Israel in that period of time… If it feels Iran is on the verge of acquiring that capability, it brings the decision point home to use force,” said the US speaker. “If you are worried about an Iran with nuclear weapons and an extreme theological regime in power, the time to take the plan of action is before Iran acquires the weapons,” he said, explaining: “The calculus in the region changes dramatically once Iran has nuclear capability, meaning the preemptive use of force or the overthrow of the Iranian regime has to come before they get the weapon.”
Once Tehran has the weapon, said Bolton, there is a risk of retaliation with nuclear capability “and that’s why Israel is in danger – it is a very small country and two or three nuclear weapons (and) there is no more country. The window of time available is narrow.”
Bolton was of the view that Iran’s response “will be a lot more measured than people think.”
A senior Israeli security official commented on the American ex-official’s words: "One should listen very closely to what Bolton has to say."