From the Jerusalem Post:
AIPAC conference starts with tough message towards Iran
The US will use “all the tools” at its disposal to stop the threat the Iranian regime poses. US ambassador to the UN John Bolton sent Sunday a tough message towards Teheran and urged the international community to take action quickly in order to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear capability.
“The longer we wait to confront the threat Iran poses, the harder and more intractable it will become to solve,” Bolton told a crowd of 5,000 AIPAC members at the lobby’s annual policy conference in Washington. On the eve of the discussion at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about referring Iran to the UN Security Council, ambassador Bolton warned that “failure by the Security Council to act on this matter would be a highly detrimental abrogation of the duties it is charged with under the UN Charter,” adding that “the Security Council must take due note that failure to act in a timely manner and with seriousness of purpose will do lasting damage to the credibility of the Council.”
Bolton, who has been a leading voice in the US administration against Iran’s nuclear ambitions, stressed that the US is not relying solely on the UN to solve the Iranian problem and will take other measures to make sure that the Iranian regime will be denied the ability to get nuclear weapons, including the use of international sanctions.
“It is noteworthy that many other governments have begun to include the word “sanctions” in their discourse when discussing Iran. The Iran regime must be made aware that if it continues down the path of international isolation, there will be tangible and painful consequences,” Bolton said.
The US ambassador described the Iranian claims that it has a right to develop a civil nuclear program as “a canard” and said that the US does not oppose a peaceful Iranian nuclear energy reactor, but that Teheran has breached all agreements concerning this project.
Bolton’s tough remarks on Iran were welcomed warmly by the members of AIPAC, an organization that has made fighting Iran’s nuclear ambitions one of its top priorities. Its annual policy conference will deal with ways to convince the US lawmakers and administration to remain tough on Iran and to lead the world effort to stop Teheran’s nuclear project.
Acting PM Ehud Olmert, who spoke to the conference participants via satellite from his office in Jerusalem, placed the Hamas election as one of the most important challenges that Israel is facing now.
“We always thought that this was a mistake to allow a terrorist organization to participate in what was pretended to be democratic elections,” Olmert said, arguing that Hamas was using the democratic process to promote an anti-democratic agenda.
This is the second consecutive year in which AIPAC is holding its annual conference while legal proceedings are still under way against two of its former employees.
The jury trial of Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, accused of receiving classified information from a Pentagon analyst and passing it on to Israeli diplomats and members of the media, is scheduled to begin on April 25th.
The conference itself did not have, in its first day, any mention of the investigation and the upcoming trial, but a group of AIPAC donors met Saturday with AIPAC executives and discussed this issue, among other issues. Some donors were upset by the dispute that broke out between AIPAC and its former employees over the legal fees of Rosen and Weissman.