Carter Sheds Light on Israel’s Nukes
Posted on May 26, 2008
Israel’s nuclear arsenal is something of a mystery. In fact, it doesn’t officially have one, but it doesn’t officially not have one either (wink wink). Former President Jimmy Carter lifted the shroud of secrecy over the weekend when he revealed that “Israel has 150 or more” nukes. Carter was attempting to put Iran’s alleged nuclear shenanigans in perspective.
It’s not entirely clear whether Carter based the figure on known estimates or super-secret presidential knowledge, but one would think the former leader of the free world would have insight superior to your average think tank.
Mr Carter gave the figure for the Israeli nuclear arsenal in response to a question on US policy on a possible nuclear-armed Iran, arguing that any country newly armed with atomic weapons faced overwhelming odds.
“The US has more than 12,000 nuclear weapons; the Soviet Union (sic) has about the same; Great Britain and France have several hundred, and Israel has 150 or more,” he said.
“We have a phalanx of enormous capabilities, not only of weaponry but also of rockets to deliver every one of those missiles on a pinpoint accuracy target.”
National Archives / White House Staff Photographers
Vintage Carter with Menachem Begin (left) and Anwar Sadat at Camp David in Maryland.