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Thread: Report: Israel Has Nearly 300 Atomic Warheads

  1. #1
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    Report: Israel Has Nearly 300 Atomic Warheads

    Israel Has Nearly 300 Atomic Warheads: Report

    http://www.islam-online.net/English/...rticle02.shtml

    LONDON, May 10, 2006 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) – Israel, the only nuclear power in the Middle East and the sixth country in the world to acquire nuclear weapons, has between 200 and 300 atomic warheads.

    This estimate "is based on the production capacity of the country's reactors," John Eldridge, editor-in-chief of Jane's Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Tuesday, April 9.

    The International Institute of Strategic Studies estimates the number of warheads as being "up to 200".

    An unknown number of ground-to-ground missiles, comprising short range Jericho 1 and medium range Jericho 2 missiles, forms Israel's strategic force.

    The country also acquired three diesel-powered, Dolphin-class submarines at the end of the 1990s.

    Each vessel, capable of spending a month underwater, has the capacity to launch six torpedoes.

    The Washington Post has revealed that Israel has succeeded in modifying US-made cruise missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads to be launched from submarines.

    Arsenal
    Israel has been adopting a not confirming nor denying strategy when it comes to its nuclear arsenal.

    But the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a US advocacy group co-created by Ted Turner, the founder of CNN and a former senator, believes Israel's nuclear arsenal "is comparable in quality and quantity to that of France and the United Kingdom."

    Recently declassified British documents showed London helped Israel obtain its nuclear bomb 40 years ago.

    Israel's nuclear reactor was built with the help of the French near the town of Dimona in the Negev Desert.

    Mordechai Vanunu, a one-time technician at the nuclear plant, served 18 years in prison for blowing the whistle on Israel’s nuclear program.

    In an interview with the Sunday Times in 1986, he revealed evidence that Israel possessed and produced nuclear weapons.

    International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Secretary General Mohammad ElBaradei has repeatedly asked Israel to give up its secret arsenal of nuclear weapons to head off an arms race in the Middle East.

    Israel is not a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).


    US intelligence agencies routinely omit Israel from semiannual reports to Congress identifying countries developing weapons of mass destruction to protect the country from any economic or military sanctions.

    The US has been spearheading an international campaign against Iran over suspicion that its nuclear program, which Tehran insists is for generating power, is a cover to produce weapons.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


  2. #2
    Partridge Guest
    Brazil follows Iran's nuclear path, but without the fuss
    AP


    As Iran faces international pressure over developing the raw material for nuclear weapons, Brazil is quietly preparing to open its own uranium-enrichment center, capable of producing exactly the same fuel.

    Brazil - like Iran - has signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, and Brazil's constitution bans the military use of nuclear energy.

    Also like Iran, Brazil has cloaked key aspects of its nuclear technology in secrecy while insisting the program is for peaceful purposes, claims nuclear weapons experts have debunked.

    While Brazil is more cooperative than Iran on international inspections, some worry its new enrichment capability - which eventually will create more fuel than is needed for its two nuclear plants - suggests that South America's biggest nation may be rethinking its commitment to nonproliferation.

    ''Brazil is following a path very similar to Iran, but Iran is getting all the attention,'' said Marshall Eakin, a Brazil expert at Vanderbilt University. ''In effect, Brazil is benefiting from Iran's problems.''

    While Iran leads a war of words against nuclear-armed Israel and has defied a U.N. Security Council request to stop all uranium enrichment, Brazil is peaceful and democratic. It doesn't have border disputes, is not in an arms race, and strives for good relations with all nations. Its last war ended in 1870.

    ''Brazil doesn't cheat on the Nonproliferation Treaty and it does not exist in an area of high tension,'' said David Albright, a former U.N. inspector who runs the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security.


    The U.S. Embassy in the capital, Brasilia, referred all questions to the State Department in Washington, where spokesman Sean McCormack dismissed any parallel between Brazil's nuclear program and Iran's.

    ''My understanding is they have a peaceful nuclear program,'' he said Thursday.

    Still, Brazil's enrichment program - and its reluctance to allow unlimited inspections - has raised suspicions abroad.

    ''Brazil is beginning to be perceived as a country apparently wanting to reevaluate its commitment to nonproliferation, and this is a big part of the problem,'' said Jon Wolfsthal, deputy director for nonproliferation at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.

    The government-run Industrias Nucleares do Brasil S.A. has been conducting final tests at the enrichment plant, built on a former coffee plantation in Resende, 90 miles west of Rio de Janeiro. When it opens this year, Brazil will join the world's nuclear elite.

    Brazil has the world's sixth-largest uranium reserves, but until the plant becomes operational, it can't use the fuel for energy without shipping it to and from URENCO, the European enrichment consortium.

    Brazil says its plant will be capable of enriching natural uranium to less than 5 percent uranium-235, an isotope needed to fuel its two reactors. Warheads need ore that has been enriched to 95 percent uranium-235, a material Brazil says it can't and won't produce.

    ''If you can enrich to 5 percent, you're decades away from enriching to 90 percent,'' Odair Dias Goncalves, president of the Brazilian Nuclear Energy Commission, told The Associated Press. ''You need a whole new technology that we don't have.''

    But former U.N. inspector Albright said he worked with Goncalves at the Brazilian Physics Society on a project to show that the Brazilian centrifuges could be used to produce highly enriched uranium, even if that wasn't their intended use.

    ''Centrifuges are very flexible,'' he said. ''Reconfiguring the cascades or recycling the enriched uranium multiple times can allow for the production of weapons-grade uranium.''

    Brazilian leaders insist the fuel will be used for the nation's $1 billion nuclear energy industry. Already Latin America's biggest nuclear power provider, Brazil plans up to seven new atomic plants to reduce its dependence on oil and hydroelectric power and plans to export enriched uranium to provide energy for other countries.

    Brazil initially refused inspections by the International Atomic Energy Association, arguing that providing full access to its state-of-the-art, Brazilian-designed centrifuges would put it at risk of industrial espionage. Since then, IAEA inspectors have visited the plant many times, monitoring the uranium that comes in and out, but they're still prevented from seeing the actual centrifuges, which are covered with opaque screens.

    The IAEA inspectors have said they're satisfied no material is being diverted. Brazilian physicist Jose Goldemberg said Brazil won't be able to produce enriched uranium for export until 2014.

    Brazil had great nuclear ambitions during a 1964-85 military dictatorship, when it built the two nuclear energy plants, worked to develop a nuclear submarine and had secret plans to test an atomic bomb in a 1,000-foot-deep, concrete-and steel-lined hole in the Amazon jungle. That idea was formally scrapped in 1990, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell declared in 2004 that ''we know for sure that Brazil is not thinking about nuclear weapons in any sense.''

    But Brazil's nuclear ambitions have been rekindled under leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, in part, analysts say, because joining the nuclear club would boost Brazil's status internationally and possibly earn it a permanent seat on the Security Council.

    What is really at stake in both Brazil and Iran is self-image, Goldemberg said. ''It's nationalism, pride. That's the real reason,'' he said.

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