Israeli President Stands by Policy of Nuclear Amiguity

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
Oct. 22, 2013, 7:02 a.m.

Is­raeli Pres­id­ent Shi­mon Peres on Monday de­fen­ded his coun­try’s long­stand­ing policy of not con­firm­ing or deny­ing it pos­sesses nuc­le­ar weapons, Agence France-Presse re­por­ted.

“Fantasy plays an ex­tremely great role to in­crease the de­terrence, so it is am­bigu­ous, yes,” Peres said in an in­ter­view with the France 24 tele­vi­sion chan­nel. “Why should I cla­ri­fy?”

In­ter­na­tion­al calls have moun­ted in re­cent years for Is­rael to come clean about its widely as­sumed nuc­le­ar ar­sen­al of around 80 war­heads and to sign on to the Nuc­le­ar Non­pro­lif­er­a­tion Treaty. Ar­ab na­tions have made achiev­ing Is­raeli dis­clos­ure a re­oc­cur­ring theme at an­nu­al In­ter­na­tion­al Atom­ic En­ergy Agency meet­ings and have called on the Is­raeli gov­ern­ment to par­ti­cip­ate in re­gion­al ne­go­ti­ations on es­tab­lish­ing a weapons of mass de­struc­tion-free zone for the Middle East.

“It de­pends why you want nuc­le­ar weapons. For me a nuc­le­ar op­tion was an in­stru­ment to lead to peace not to at­tack,” said Peres, who played an im­port­ant role in con­vin­cing France in the 1950s to provide Is­rael with the crit­ic­al nuc­le­ar as­sist­ance that would al­low it to de­vel­op a weapons pro­gram. “It was a de­terrence that had noth­ing to do with real­ity wheth­er we have it or not.”

Last month, the aging Is­raeli states­man said his coun­try would “ser­i­ously” con­tem­plate join­ing the Chem­ic­al Weapons Con­ven­tion amid heightened in­ter­na­tion­al at­ten­tion about the danger posed by chem­ic­al arms fol­low­ing the Syr­i­an mil­it­ary’s as­sumed large-scale us­age to dev­ast­at­ing ef­fect of sar­in nerve agent in an at­tack on a sub­urb of Dam­as­cus.

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