London: The US has deployed nearly 200 tactical nuclear weapons across Europe, particularly in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Turkey, leaked cables by whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks have revealed.
While the international community has long suspected that the US has warheads remaining in Europe, the locations of the bombs have never been revealed -- until now.
A cable, sent from Berlin, details discussions last year in which US assistant secretary of state Philip Gordon talks to Germany`s foreign policy adviser Christoph Heusgen about weapons in the four countries.
"Heusgen said that from his perspective, it made no sense to unilaterally withdraw `the 20` tactical nuclear weapons still in Germany while Russia maintains `thousands` of them," the `Daily Express` quoted the cable as saying.
The cable adds that former British premier Gordon Brown noted it was important to think through all "potential consequences" of withdrawing the weapons from Germany -- "for example, a withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Germany and perhaps from Belgium and the Netherlands could make it very difficult politically for Turkey to maintain its stockpile..."
Another leaked cable details a January 2009 meeting between the US and Dutch embassy officials and Prince Turki Al-Kabeer, an official in Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during which Iran`s nuclear programme was discussed.
The missive says: "Prince Turki warned that if Iran tried to produce nuclear weapons other countries in the Gulf would be compelled to do the same or to permit the stationing of nuclear weapons as a deterrent."