Former Israeli Defense Chief Says Trump Adviser Bolton Pressured Him to Strike Iran

Shaul Mofaz says he doesn't think striking Iran's nuclear facilities is wise 'until this threat becomes real'

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FILE PHOTO: A suspected nuclear facility near Tehran in September, 2009.
FILE PHOTO: A suspected nuclear facility near Tehran in September, 2009. Credit: Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump's newly appointed national security adviser, John Bolton, tried to convince Israel to strike Iran's nuclear facilities, former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said on Sunday.

"I have known John Bolton ever since he was the U.S. ambassador to the UN," Mofaz said at a Yedioth Ahronoth conference. "He tried to convince me that Israel should strike Iran."

Speaking on a panel of four former Israeli military chiefs, Mofaz noted that he thought this was a bad idea. "I don't think this is a wise action – not on the part of the Americans but anyone else, until this threat becomes real."

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Mofaz, along with former IDF chiefs Benny Gantz, Dan Halutz and Moshe Ya'alon, said they are against nixing the nuclear deal with Iran.

Mofaz served as the IDF chief of staff during the second intifada. Shortly after he retired from the army in 2002, he was appointed defense minister by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Bolton was the U.S. ambassador to the UN under President George W. Bush between 2005 and 2006.