Israel has until the weekend to launch a military strike on Iran’s first nuclear plant before the humanitarian risk of an attack becomes too great, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said Tuesday.
A Russian company is expected to help Iran start loading nuclear fuel into its plant on Saturday, after which an attack on the Bushehr reactor could trigger harmful radiation, which Israel wants to avoid, Bolton said. So unless the Israelis act immediately to shut down the facility, it will be too late.
“Once it’s close to the reactor … the risk is when the reactor is attacked, there will be a release of radiation into the air,” Bolton told FoxNews.com. “It’s most unlikely that they would act militarily after fuel rods are loaded.”
“Until that time, the position of the government of Israel — as the position of the Obama administration — is that all options will remain on the table,” he said, without commenting directly on Bolton’s remarks.
Though Iranian officials insist the reactor is for peaceful purposes, Bolton warned about the danger of the up-and-running reactor.
“What this does is give Iran a second route to nuclear weapons in addition to enriched uranium,” Bolton said. “It’s a very, very huge victory for Iran.”
He noted that the reactor gives Iran something that both Iraq and Syria were never able to achieve because their facilities were destroyed.