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Bolton the former UN UN ambassador is joining us now with his thoughts on what's at stake right now great to have you -- -- thank you so much for joining us today.
Glad to be here.
What's so your immediate reaction knowing that such as the operations have begun.
Iran continues to stick to its He usual line saying dad it's only there for peaceful purposes and nothing more.
Well it's a two for for a run this is a 1000 megawatt reactor it's a commercial size power generating reactor.
And it can provide electricity for Iran's domestic needs no question about it.
But the inevitable consequence of the operation -- reactor like this is that.
-- the nuclear reaction itself creates in the spent fuel from the reactor plutonium.
Which can be reprocessed from the spent fuel and used to build nuclear weapons.
So it it it's a perfect dead -- for Iran to be able to use this.
To gain experience and nuclear technology in the nuclear fuel cycle and then to have the spent fuel available to build nuclear weapons this is the first time in history.
That is state.
-- styled Israel.
Has been able to put a commercial sized nuclear reactor into operation in Iraq.
In 1981 in Syria and 2007.
The Israelis have bombed.
Similar commercial reactors to prevent this from happening so it's a dramatic change in Israel says strategic environment.
Is certainly took awhile for Iran to get this going.
How sophisticated do you think its operations are.
To this point that we know of.
Well it's still largely under the control of the Russians who built that it was originally a German reactor the Russians built it over their foundations.
And at night.
Guess is that they are still largely in control of that responsible for the operation.
But training and training Iran -- scientists and technicians there.
Very educated population.
Sophisticated in Iran and they will learn it's only a matter of time.
And that's why I say this is a real.
Benefit to Iran because the larger the cadre of scientists and technicians you have.
Familiar with the nuclear fuel cycle comparable with operating a reactor.
And more capable your nuclear establishment is becoming so that's another reason for example Iran.
-- to put more nuclear reactors and operation.
-- up an end politically.
Does how does this.
Fair for Ahmadinejad at this point in terms the way He can go about.
Selling his country's nuclear status.
Well -- you know he's -- a political battle internal -- he's also looking forward to coming to New York next week for the opening of the United Nations.
So being able to say that this reactor is now in commercial operation even if not fully operational is a plus form.
And I think it's related to the announcement that the bail had been said for the two.
Young American hikers I think this is part of the PR offensive before Ahmadinejad comes to New York.
And bail is set for those two hikers.
500000 -- is piece similar to what.
Was given to the young lady who was set free earlier by a year ago it.
-- we take a look at all of this you know the in this drama being played out in the way that He is playing this whole situation.
How do you read it in his moves at this point before He comes to New York.
Well I do think He has his domestic troubles and this is this is part of a struggle between the Ayatollah is who have.
Controlled the country since the Islamic revolution in 1979.
And the increasing center power which is the Revolutionary Guards of which Ahmadinejad as an alumnus.
And I think got a lot of this goes on behind the scenes but one of the things Ahmadinejad.
Looks to do is to capitalize on the stage.
That He will have in new York at the UN in other venues when He comes here.
-- to boost his own stature inside.
Iran's I have I think you have to look at all of this is part of his PR offensive over the next couple weeks.
No absolutely and in terms of Russia being behind the scenes and as far as helping to.
Can help -- Iran -- its nuclear ambitions.
Have public pressure has been going on behind the scenes to get Russia to.
Back down or at least two.
Step away from supporting this initiative.
Well -- -- and Russia have provides political cover for Iran's nuclear program in many ways in the security.
Council and in many other ways it is prepared to build additional nuclear power plants for the -- They would love to be the supplier of the fuel rods for all of these plants you know they go for.
A billion or two billion dollars a copy this is not small change were talking about.
And it serves the larger Russian objective of making life difficult for the United States in the Middle East so.
Russia has a lot at stake here there have been disagreements between Russia and Iran to be sure.
But by and large Russia sees its ability to influence and manipulate Iran is being very much in its interest very detrimental to American interest.
Well absolutely so how does that play terms of their relationship between the United States and -- -- to this point.
Well you know the Obama administration came into office saying it wanted to press the famous reset button with Russia to make up for the problems in the bilateral.
Relationship they said had been caused by.
President Bush in fact that we've made a lot of concessions to the Russians we've given -- -- arms control treaty.
That they wanted that's not an.
Construction of missile defense assets and Poland and the Czech Republic we made a number of other concessions it hasn't changed.
Russian policy one iota there's still providing political cover for Iran there's still.
Trying to squeeze central and Eastern Europe they're still trying to reassert.
Russian hegemony in the space of the former Soviet Union they've been building up their conventional and ballistic missile forces.
So it's still -- very difficult country -- relations with Russia were rocky at the end of the Bush Administration.
That was caused by Russia and not by the US.
Right -- I had I do remember that as well it but do you think the Obama administration then simply isn't.
Pushing hard as hard as it could to try and you know get -- really understand that this is something that the United States.
Isn't happy with and the fact that in order to continue on with relation to on the -- that.
This is amended gonna have to resolve.
Well I think the Russians understand that they're dealing with the -- -- nuclear program is a priority for us they just have a different set of interest.
While I think they ultimately don't want Iran to have nuclear weapons they think it's more of a problem for us and Israel and less of a problem for them.
So I don't think it's a lack of communication between Washington and Moscow I think the Russians.
See their interest is being very different from ours and I don't think.
Unfortunately that President Obama and his advisors who figured that out yet OK very interesting always great to have you with your perspective.
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