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U.S. Calls on Israel to Sign Historic Nuclear Non-Proliferation TreatyTim King Salem-News.com
It was publicly announced in March of last year that in spite of claims to the contrary, Israel possesses hundreds of nuclear weapons.
(SALEM, Ore.) - The Israeli government has been asked by U.S. officials to sign the historic Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Such a request would have been completely unknown even in the recent past. Israeli officials are reportedly unsure of exactly what to do .
With help from the U.S. and other Western governments and media organizations, Israel has been able to keep its extensive long-term U.S.- sponsored nuclear weapons program under the radar for many years. That is, until former President Jimmy Carter spelled it out during a public appearance in Wales, as revealed in our report, Carter Reveals Israel's Possession of 150 Nuclear Weapons, in late May, 2008.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller dropped a bomb of her own with her recent announcement that the United States wants every nation - Israel included, to sign the NPT.
The Guardian UK's Gideon Spiro, reports Israeli officials being "puzzled" by Rose Gottemoeller's request for, "Universal adherence to the NPT itself - including by India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea", and her statement that this goal remains a "fundamental objective of the United States."
The message many Israeli's appear to be getting, is that the new American President is intent on overhauling nuclear proliferation policies in the Middle East. It is the turning of a page in world history, and not necessarily one that is settling to the average Israeli.
The Internet has been pumping out volumes of information on Israel's deadly nuclear weapons which reportedly number in the hundreds, since Carter's announcement. Yet in the standard media channels, the matter has remained "politically incorrect" to discuss until recently.
In fact many historians agree that it was Israel that really initiated the Middle East weapons race.
An Israeli involved in the country's nuclear weapons program came forward to the British press in 1986. Mordechai Vanunu, the nuclear whistleblower, exposed the fast-paced bomb-making projects taking place quietly at Israeli nuclear facilities in Dimona.
Some experts on nuclear proliferation estimate Israel to be in possession of hundreds of atom and hydrogen bombs. Additionally, the country is rumored to have biological and chemical weapons that are produced in Israel's Nes Ziona biological institute.
One report calls Israel, "A state that is a powder keg of atomic, biological and chemical WMD".
Pointing Fingers at Iran
Yet political leaders in Israel and the U.S. have been looking at Iran in recent years with nearly constant accusations of "programs to develop nuclear weapons" - in spite of Iran's denial of such activity.
Monday, Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said, "Iran has never launched aggression against any country in the region. Its conduct enhances regional security."
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran considers developing nuclear weapons to be "politically retarded".
Press TV reports that as Israel's accusations against Iran continue, the Israeli Air Force completed a three-day long-range rocket testing exercise in preparation for a "possible war with Iran".
Israel, considered by Iranian press to be a "nuclear-armed regime" reportedly also plans an extensive five-day nationwide military drill called "Turning Point 3" on May 31st.
This drill involves Israeli forces and civilians simulating a war against Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran, while also practicing counterinsurgency tactics against Israeli Arabs.
It is interesting to note that the Six Day War in 1967 was specifically launched because Egypt conducted a military training exercise near the Israeli border. Israel perceived the event as a threat and launched one of the world's most aggressive, high technology preemptive strikes against neighboring nations in history.
In less than a week, the IDF won the conflict and took millions of more acres of land from the Palestinian people who then lived in what is now, Israel.
There is no word at this point as to what Israel will specifically do to honor the request from the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State.
The world is waiting for an answer.
Also, visit The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) at a Glance from The Arms Control Association for more information.
Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor.
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