Israel's President defends ambiguity on nuclear arsenal
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Shimon Peres listen to speech at a peace rally. [AFP]
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President Shimon Peres, notorious for his work with Israel’s nuclear program, commented on his Israel’s position regarding Iran’s nuclear program Monday.
Peres claimed that Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani reflects what Israel considers a “chance” in comparison to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's concerns that the Iran’s leader is a "wolf in sheep's clothing".
In an interview with France 24, Peres told the television network, "It’s a chance, undecided yet. Apparently there are differences within Iran (over its nuclear program); who is going to win I don't know."
Since Israel has never signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, there is no way to tell exactly how many nuclear warheads they have but experts believe Israel has at least 100 nuclear warheads.
Peres’ response about the ambiguity on their nuclear program was that it acted as a deterrent.
"It depends why you want nuclear weapons. For me a nuclear option was an instrument to lead to peace, not to attack," said the Israeli president.
"It was a deterrence that had nothing to do with reality whether we have it or not.
"Fantasy plays an extremely great role to increase the deterrence, so it is ambiguous, yes. Why should I clarify?"
In what is becoming a traditional position, Israeli governments have said for over 40 years that their country would not introduce nuclear weapons to the Middle East first. In something of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” agreement made with the US in 1969, Israel has continued to refrain from publicly discussing its nuclear capabilities while the US does not push the country for disclosure even though the issue is brought up by UN memebers often.