Iran's nukes are a fantasy. Israel's are real

Iran's nukes are a fantasy. Israel's are real
Comment: All the talk about Iran managed to drown out the US disclosure that Israel has nuclear weapons, and has considered their use, says Said Arikat.
5 min read
17 Apr, 2015
As talks with Iran over its nuclear programme were coming to a conclusion, Barack Obama said he would never let anyone "mess" with Israel.

The US president told Thomas Friedman of the New York Times: "I have to respect the fears that the Israeli people have... but what I can say to them is: number one, this is our best bet by far to make sure Iran doesn't get a nuclear weapon, and number two, what we will be doing even as we enter into this deal is sending a very clear message to the Iranians and to the entire region that if anybody messes with Israel, America will be there."

The interview was published on April 5, 2015, three days after the framework agreement had been reached with Iran.

That assertion has been reiterated many times since this interview, as it has been constantly affirmed over the past 20 years, since allegations that Iran was actively pursuing a weaponised nuclear programme by presidents and US politicians of all political colours and affiliation.

The issue of Iran's nuclear potential has reached such deafening loudness over the last month that "centrifuges" "weapons-grade enriched uranium" and "heavy-water" are now common terms in newspapers.

By Tuesday, April 14, president Obama had relented, saying he would sign a compromise bill giving Congress a voice on the proposed nuclear accord with Iran as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in rare unanimous agreement, moved the legislation to the full Senate for a vote.

The day before, Obama told US Jewish leaders that Iran would never acquire a nuclear bomb, and the deal sought would guarantee that.

Many however find that the whole exercise of negotiating away the threat of a nuclear armed Iran is disingenuous, especially in light of the fact that the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), the big US spy report, concluded as far back as 2007 and Iran abandoned its nuclear weapons programme.
     The US and its western allies are quite sure that Israel possess anywhere between 85 and 200 bombs.

More ironic, it is believed, that the US and its western allies are quite sure that Israel possess anywhere between 85 and 200 bombs, with many that are already fixed on long-range missiles that can be launched at a moment's notice, while other are roaming the seas beneath the surface on Dolphin Class submarines according to reports published in the German magazine Der Spiegel and the Times of Israel in June, 2012.

In early February, and after five decades of pretending otherwise, the US defence department was forced to published a secret 1987 report that confirmed that Israel does indeed possess nuclear bombs.

Grant Smith, an investigative reporter who heads the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy group, forced the Pentagon's hand in a Freedom of Information case.

The report, Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations, describes Israel's nuclear research labs as "an almost exact parallel of the capability currently existing at our National Laboratories."

Whenever anyone questions what appears to be a double standard US position on Israel they are either answered with standard Israeli opacity on the subject, or are told that Israel was of superior moral standing that should allow it the same space as the US, Russia, the UK, France and China on nuclear weapons.

Many US and western politicians and activists argue that Israel's weapons are morally and historically defensible in a way that an Iranian programme would not be, both because of Israel's roots in the Holocaust and because it fought a series of defensive wars against its neighbours.

In late 2013, Robert Satloff, the executive director of the AIPAC-created Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told the Washington Post: "Israel has never given any reason to doubt its solely defensive nature... Israel has never brandished its capabilities to exert regional influence, cow its adversaries or threaten its neighbours."

It failed to mention that Israel has occupied the West Bank, the Syrian Golan Heights and parts of Lebanon for almost 50 years, without much pressure from the international community to ends its brutal occupation of the Palestinians.
     For decades, the world has known that the Israeli facility near Dimona, in the Negev desert, was the key to its secret nuclear project.

For decades, the world has known that the Israeli facility near Dimona, in the Negev desert, was the key to its secret nuclear project. And for decades, the world - and Israel -knew that Israel had once misleadingly referred to it as a "textile factory".

As early as 1968, the CIA issued a report concluding that Israel had successfully started nuclear weapons production.

According to the CIA, Israel had at least two bombs in 1967, and that the executive had ordered them armed in Israel's first nuclear alert during the Six-Day War.

Six years later the CIA reports that, fearing defeat in the October 1973 Yom Kippur War, the Israelis assembled 13 20 kiloton atomic bombs. Hiroshima was destroyed by a 15kt bomb at the end of the Second World War.

US intelligence reports suggested Israel could have produced a few dozen nuclear warheads between 1970 and 1980, and is thought to have produced sufficient fissile material to build 100 to 200 warheads by the mid-1990s.

In 1986 descriptions and photographs of Israeli nuclear warheads were published in the Sunday Times of London in a purported underground bomb factory at the Dimona nuclear reactor.

The photographs were taken by the Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu, who was later kidnapped from Europe by Mossad, and sent to prison for many years.

Vanunu's information led some experts to conclude that Israel had a stockpile of 100 to 200 nuclear devices at that time, which put it the level of 300 bombs, or more than France, the old colonial power that initiated Israel's nuclear programme to counter Arab liberation movements.

The US has long since been reconciled to an Israel with a huge nuclear weapons arsenal, all while preaching the virtues of non-proliferation.