Powell: Israel has over 200 nuclear warheads aimed at Iran

The former secretary's remarks were a reference to a nuclear capacity never confirmed or publicly acknowledged by the Jewish state.

September 17, 2016 20:46
1 minute read.

DF chief of general staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and Colin Powell . (photo credit: SHMULIK ALMANI)


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WASHINGTON – Israel has more than 200 nuclear weapons, and they are aimed at Iran, former US secretary of state Colin Powell said in correspondence leaked to the public last week.

The former secretary’s remarks were a reference to a nuclear capacity never confirmed or publicly acknowledged by the Jewish state, which is not a signatory of the UN’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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Powell said that Iran was taking into account Israel’s capabilities in calculating its own nuclear ambitions.

His estimate that Israel has 200 operable warheads was based on “public estimates” of Israel’s arsenal, 10 years since he last had access to classified material, a spokesman for the secretary told the Associated Press on Friday.

“Iranians can’t use one if they finally make one,” Powell wrote to a Democratic donor. “The boys in Tehran know Israel has 200, all targeted on Tehran, and we have thousands.”

The email exchange took place around the time of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress in March 2015 on the threat of a nuclearized Iran.

The State Department declined to comment in detail on this report, simply stating that it supports enforcement of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

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