Of course we already knew that Israel possesses nuclear weapons. That is not a surprise. What is amusing, however, is Olmert’s indirect admission that Israel does have nuclear weapons, prompting a string of condemnations from Israel’s MKs.
Olmert Blasted for Nuclear Tongue-Slip
16:44 Dec 12, ’06 / 21 Kislev 5767
Mondayâ€™s statement by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, interpreted as an admission that Israel possesses nuclear weaponry, aroused a storm of protest over the loss of Israelâ€™s traditional ambiguity.
In an interview with German SAT1 TV, Olmert was asked about the recent statement by US Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates which “explained” Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. Gates told a Senate Committee confirmation hearing that Iran is “surrounded by powers with nuclear weapons â€” Pakistan to their east, the Russians to the north, the Israelis to the west and us in the Persian Gulf.â€
Olmert responded by saying, “We never threaten any nation with annihilation. Iran openly, explicitly and publicly threatens to wipe Israel off the map. Can you say that this is the same level, when they [Iran] are aspiring to have nuclear weapons, as America, France, Israel and Russia?â€
Reactions from Israeli politicians across the political spectrum were swift and fierce. They understood Olmert’s statement as a declaration that Iran is aspiring to have nuclear weapons “as do America, France, Israel and Russia.”