by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com, July 7, 2010
A statement released yesterday by the Obama Administration has made public America’s long-standing support for the Israeli government’s large, undeclared nuclear arsenal, and insists that Israel has an inherent “right” to possess such an arsenal for “deterrence purposes.”
Officials have also reportedly acknowledged that the Obama Administration has labeled its previous support for a “nuclear-free Middle East,” including a vote in favor of this at a Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) conference, had been “a mistake.”
The Obama Administration complained at the time of the vote that it unfairly “singled out” Israel, apparently oblivious to the fact that Israel is the only nation in the Middle East with nuclear weapons, as well as the only nation which is not a signatory of the NPT.
Israel has ruled out ever signing the NPT, though it has called for the treaty to be strengthened to punish signatories like Syria and Iran for what it perceives as “violations.” Israel has likewise never publicly acknowledged the size of its nuclear arsenal, though the fact that it exists is not generally considered a secret.