Former US diplomat blasts Obama on Iran, Iraq
IranVNC — February 27, 2009
Former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, yesterday criticized President Barack Obama’s policies on Iran and Iraq, saying the new administration left the country “weaker and less safe”.
“President Obama is the most radical president we have ever elected in this country,” Bolton said in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, reports the Washington Times.
Bolton, who served under George W. Bush’s administration, told the meeting that Obama is “naïve” and unprepared for the foreign policy challenges he is facing.
“It’s clear that our national security is at risk in this administration,” he said.
Bolton argued that Obama does not know how to handle negotiations with Iran. Obama has said he would hold direct talks with Tehran, in a break from the policy of his predecessor.
“This is a clear piece of evidence of the naiveté of the Obama administration and its faith in negotiations,” Bolton was quoted by the MSNBC news website as saying.
Bolton, who grew increasingly critical of Bush during his second term as president, mocked Obama’s characterization during the campaign of Iran as a “tiny” country that does not “pose a serious threat” to the U.S.
“Is the loss of one American city – pick one: Chicago – is that a tiny threat?” Bolton said, referring to the president’s hometown in Illinois, reports the Washington Times.
For his part, Obama has warned Tehran of tougher sanctions if diplomatic efforts fail to curtail Iran’s nuclear drive, which the West suspects has a military aim.
Although he has voiced favor with engaging Iran, Obama has said that Washington remains concerned by a number of Tehran’s policies, including its alleged support for terrorists, suspected nuclear program, and “bellicose” language toward Israel.
Bolton also took aim at his former boss, saying six years of negotiations with Iran have left it “six years closer to a nuclear weapon.”
“Unfortunately, that is another legacy of the Bush administration,” he added, reports the Washington Times.
On Iraq, Bolton said Obama’s plan to withdraw troops in that country was without regard to any progress in Iraq.
Obama announced today that he will pull US combat forces out of Iraq by August 2010, and that some 35,000 to 50,000 troops would remain until the end of 2011 to train and equip Iraqi security forces.
Obama’s decision to leave a sizeable force in Iraq, which he made after consultations with US military leaders, was welcomed by congressional Republicans.
Sources: Washington Times newspaper, MSNBC news website
Last updated 06/03/2009