Bolton Questions Obama’s Plan for Negotiating With Iran

Gerrit Lansing /

John Bolton

It’s the difference “between a fork and a spoon,” John Bolton said at Heritage today. The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was clarifying what Barack Obama’s narcissistic fantasy of negotiating with Iran really means. “Negotiating with Iran is not a policy, it’s a technique,” he said. Furthermore, the technique “is hardly a new idea — it’s an old idea that has failed.”

Cutlery lessons aside, France, Germany and Britain have negotiated with Iran for the last five years, and all along Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has understood that the EU-3 speaks for America. The goal of the negotiations, of course, was to entice Iran into ceasing uranium enrichment. Bolton’s Sept. 25 op-ed in the New York Daily Sun demonstrates his frustration with the lack of results:

Negotiation is like all human activity: It has costs as well as benefits. The history of Europe’s efforts underscores a significant cost of negotiating with a nuclear aspirant: time. More time is almost always on the proliferator’s side, because it allows for the complex work necessary to master the nuclear fuel cycle. The net effect of five years of EU-3 negotiation is that Iran is five years closer to achieving a deliverable nuclear weapon.

Even accounting for Obama’s admittedly incredible personal talent, Bolton wondered if the Democrat presidential candidate really expects Ahmadinejad to lean back from the table in astonishment at the clarity of his argument. Does Obama have a magic argument up his sleeve that the EU-3 has not thought of in five long years?

Bolton abruptly closed: “You can fiddle around, but if you fiddle around too long, those consequences are going to be dire indeed.”