Israel arming German-made subs with nuclear warheads
Published Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Israel is allegedly arming German-supplied submarines with nuclear warheads, Der Spiegel reported on Monday, in a further sign of Western double standards to nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the report on Tuesday by saying that German-supplied submarines were "very important" for his country's defense.
"Germany has underlined its commitment to Israel's security in particular with the sale of another submarine," Netanyahu told the daily Bild. "It is a very important addition to our national security."
Der Spiegel reported in its Monday issue that Israel was arming submarines provided and largely financed by Germany with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles with the knowledge of the German government.
Germany has already supplied Israel with three Dolphin-class submarines and another three are to be delivered by 2017.
Israel is the Middle East's sole nuclear-armed power and it is not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Germany – member of the P5+1 powers (including the United States, Russia, China, France, and Britain) – has been a vociferous opponent of Iran's nuclear program, while aiding Israel with its nuclear armament.
Berlin's double standard approach and its role in nuclear proliferation in the Middle East by supporting Israel raises doubts on Germany's commitment to regional stability.
The move prompted calls by the German opposition for an explanation from Chancellor Angela Merkel's government and accusations that it had little to show for its help to Israel.
Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Monday that he would not "speculate" about Israel's nuclear arsenal, but indicated that Germany did not even impose any restrictions on Israel's use of the submarines.
"I cannot confirm there are any such clauses," he said.
Israel has repeatedly threatened to launch a unilateral war against Iran if it does not abandon its nuclear program, which Tehran insists is for peaceful purposes.