Monday, October 13, 2003

Israel Adds Fuel to Nuclear Dispute: "Since 1969, Washington has accepted Israel's status as a nuclear power and not pressured it to sign the nonproliferation treaty. 'We tolerate nuclear weapons in Israel for the same reason we tolerate them in Britain and France,' a senior administration official said. 'We don't regard Israel as a threat.'"

The prospect of Israel dropping a nuclear bomb on an Arab city is regarded with equanimity as 'not being a threat'. What sort of impression do they think they are making, on world opinion, not to mention the Arab world?

"To avoid triggering American economic and military sanctions, U.S. intelligence agencies routinely omit Israel from semiannual reports to Congress identifying countries developing weapons of mass destruction. The Clinton administration even barred the sale of the most detailed U.S. satellite photographs of Israel in an effort to protect that country's nuclear complex and other targets.

"The Bush administration's determination to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons means Israel's worst-kept secret is likely to loom large in negotiations with Tehran.

""You are never going to be able to address the Iranian nuclear ambitions or the issues of Egypt's chemical weapons and possible biological weapons program without bringing Israel's nuclear program into the mix," said Joseph Cirincione, director of the nonproliferation program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington-based nonprofit organization promoting international cooperation."

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