‘Israel won’t change nuclear policy’

Defense official: No plan to offer concessions regarding purported capability.

March 29, 2010 00:51
1 minute read.
A nuclear power plant (illustrative).

A nuclear power plant (illustrative).. (photo credit: AP)

Israel does not plan on offering any concessions regarding its purported nuclear capability at the Nuclear Security Summit that US President Barack Obama will host in Washington, DC, next month, a top defense official said on Sunday.

The US and Russia announced on Friday that they would sign a new START agreement that will reduce the nuclear arsenals in both countries by 30 percent. Following the signing of the agreement on April 8, Obama will host the two-day Nuclear Security Summit, aimed at preventing rogue regimes and terrorists from obtaining nuclear weapons.

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According to the top defense official, Israel does not plan on announcing any changes to its current policy of ambiguity when it comes to its nuclear program.

“We will not change anything on this issue,” the official said. “There is no reason to wake up the bears.”

Israel had initially been wary of the summit amid concern that it would be asked to reveal details about its purported nuclear capability. Israel is believed to have several hundred nuclear weapons, according to foreign reports.

The Obama administration also debated whether to invite Israel to the conference since it was assumed that Israel’s presence there would put it under pressure to put its nuclear program under international monitoring.

Not inviting Israel would have opened the administration to complaints it would have received from mostly Arab countries about leaving Israel – the only country in the Middle East purported to have nuclear weapons – out of the summit.

In January, Israel was invited, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has confirmed that he will attend the summit in April.

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