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Ex-PM Ehud Barak Confirms Israel Has Nuclear Weapons: Why it Matters

Israel has maintained a strict policy of never confirming or denying it possesses nuclear weapons.

By Pesach Benson | Apr 9, 23,

(TPS) Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak broke Israel’s policy of ambiguity and tweeted his confirmation that Israel possesses nuclear weapons last Tuesday.

While commenting on the fallout from the governing coalition’s judicial reform initiative, Barak tweeted:

“It sounds weird to us. But in Israelis’ conversations with political parties in the West, their deep concern emerges about the possibility that, if the coup d’état in Israel succeeds, a messianic dictatorship will be established in the heart of the Middle East, possessing nuclear weapons, and fanatically wishing for a confrontation with Islam centered on the Temple Mount. In their eyes – it’s really scary. not going to happen. Happy holiday”

Israel has maintained a strict policy of never confirming or denying it possesses nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, it has been widely believed that Israel possesses them, with foreign reports estimating the nuclear arsenal’s size from dozens to hundreds of bombs.

Barak, a former Defense Minister and Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff, argued in a Sept. 2021 op-ed that Israel should review its policy of nuclear ambiguity, suggesting disclosure could be a better deterrent against Iran’s nuclear program.

Proponents of ambiguity say it protects Israel from being forced to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty or possibly facing international sanctions. Signing the NPT would require Israel to open its nuclear facilities to international inspection.

Meanwhile, the US reportedly floated a proposal with Israel and other allies in February to resume nuclear talks with Iran in which Tehran would not enrich uranium above 60 percent purity in exchange for sanctions relief. The White House has neither confirmed nor denied those reports.

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in March that Iran has enriched uranium to 83.7 percent purity, far higher than the 3.67% necessary for a civilian nuclear program. Nuclear weapons require uranium enriched to 90% purity.

It is widely believed that Iran could finish enriching enough uranium to produce an atomic bomb in about four weeks.

Iran and the US agreed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2015 along with France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China. Under the terms of the JCPOA, Iran was supposed to limit its uranium enrichment under UN supervision in exchange for the US lifting economic sanctions. Israel opposed the agreement, saying it wasn’t strong enough.

In 2018, President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the agreement. Restoring the JCPOA has been a key foreign policy goal of the Biden administration.

Israel and its Gulf allies oppose a resumption of the nuclear talks.


April 11, 2023 - Posted by | Israel, weapons and war

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