Mofaz: Bolton wanted Israel to attack Iran

Israel’s ex-defence chief doesn’t think this was ‘smart’.

Shaul Mofaz
Shaul Mofaz and John Bolton. [AP]

A former Israeli defence minister has said that US President Donald Trump‘s new national security adviser, John Bolton, once tried to convince him to attack Iran.

“I knew John Bolton since he was United States ambassador to the United Nations,” Shaul Mofaz, who served as defence chief from 2002 to 2006, told a conference in Tel Aviv on Sunday. 

“He tried to convince me that Israel needs to attack Iran,” Mofaz said, the Ynet news site reported. 

Mofaz said Bolton pressured him to carry out the attack when he served as UN ambassador under George W Bush.

Bolton, 69 years old, will be Trump’s third national security adviser. He was highly controversial at the UN. While liked by some diplomats during his term, he irritated many others with his strong-arm approach to diplomacy.

“I don’t think this was smart, not on the side of the Americans today and not on the side of anyone until the threat is real,” Mofaz said of a potential attack on Iran.

Mofaz, along with Israeli army chiefs Benny Gantz, Dan Halutz and Moshe Ya’alon, all spoke on the panel, where they said they are against cancelling the Iran nuclear deal, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is highly critical of.

Bolton objects to the nuclear deal struck with Iran in 2015 and has frequently called for the country’s nuclear facilities to be hit. In 2015, he wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times titled: “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran.”

Source: Al Jazeera, DPA