Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has reiterated his country's longstanding position that it will not confirm or deny having nuclear arsenal. "Israel will not be the first country to introduce nuclear weapons to the region. That is our policy and it has not changed," he told a press conference Tuesday after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "There is no need to explain it any further."
Before heading to Berlin, Olmert sparked an uproar in Israel after he made comments in an interview with a German television station that were interpreted by some as a break with Israel's traditional nuclear "policy of ambiguity".
He told N24 Sat1 television: "Iran openly, explicitly and publicly threatens to wipe Israel off the map. "Can you say that this is the same level, when they are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, as France, America, Russia and Israel?"
The Israeli leader's spokeswoman however immediately denied that his remarks had signalled any departure from established policy.