- The Washington Times - Monday, September 28, 2009

The apparent escalation of Iran’s nuclear-weapon program is the result of President Obama readily following the Bush administration’s failed foreign policies while focusing on health-care reform, former United Nations Ambassador John R. Bolton said Monday.

“While we’ve been fiddling around, Iran has been making progress,” Mr. Bolton said hours after Iran reported the successful launching of longer-range missiles — the third round of missile tests in two days.

Mr. Obama “just doesn’t think foreign policy and national security is as important as domestic issues,” Mr. Bolton told The Washington Times America’s Morning News radio show Monday morning.

The test launches also follow the U.S. and its allies disclosing Friday that Iran has secretly been developing a uranium enrichment facility.

Mr. Bolton disagreed with the opinion that Mr. Obama gained credibility by vowing the West would impose tougher economic sanctions if Iran fails to open the site to international inspections.

“The logic on that is exactly backward,” he said. “That argument requires you to say: If Iran had destroyed a Western city, the sanctions would be overwhelming.”

Mr. Bolton said the administration’s foreign policy follows President George W. Bush’s failed policy in his last six years “and by extension and elaboration has failed badly as well.”

He also said part of the problem appears to be that Mr. Obama is taking advice from an inner circle of advisers, not Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“It’s not entirely clear what she’s doing,” Mr. Bolton said. “I’ve never seen a secretary of state this isolated since William Rogers during the Nixon administration. … It must be very difficult of Hillary Clinton to get up and look at herself in the morning. I cannot imagine what she must be thinking.”

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