Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, said on Tuesday that he believes Israel will attack Iran's nuclear facilities if Democratic nominee Senator Barack Obama wins the upcoming presidential elections, according to a press report on Tuesday.
"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 was quoted by the website of Israel’s daily Yedioth Ahronoth as telling 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."
An unflinching hawk, who advocates military strikes to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, the former ambassador said he didn't think Tel-Aviv will do anything before the election because they don't want the military action to affect the outcome of the elections.
Bolton further said, in a related interview with British Daily Telegraph, that 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 factor behind an early strike.
The New York Times on Friday quoted U.S. officials as saying Israel carried out a large military exercise this month that appeared to be a rehearsal for a potential bombing attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.
Citing unidentified American officials, the major U.S. daily said more than 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighters took part in the maneuvers over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece in the first week of June.