Israel to maintain ambiguity over its nuke programme

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - 15:05

Jerusalem: Israel plans to remain
ambiguous over its nuclear policy, with US backing, Deputy
Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said today.

"This policy of ambiguity constitutes one of the
pillars of Israeli national security and the Americans
consider it very important," Ayalon told army radio.

"There is no reason for the Americans to change their
approach or for Israel to change its position," he said.
For the past four decades, Israeli governments have
insisted the Jewish state will not be the first to introduce
nuclear weapons in the Middle East.

"This policy will continue and no pressure from any
country will make it change, Ayalon said.

But foreign military experts believe Israel has an
arsenal of several hundred nuclear weapons.

Ayalon`s comments came ahead of next week`s nuclear
security summit in Washington. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu will be among the leaders attending the
international gathering.

Israel has maintained its policy of deliberate
ambiguity about its nuclear programme since it inaugurated its
Dimona nuclear reactor in the Negev desert in 1965.

In 1969 it reached an understanding with the United
States under which Israeli leaders refrain from making any
statement on their country`s nuclear potential and do not
carry out any nuclear test, while Washington refrains from
exerting any pressure on the issue.


First Published: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 - 15:05

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