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It is believed that Israel had possessed an operational nuclear weapons capability by 1967, with the mass production of nuclear warheads occurring immediately after the Six-Day War. Although no official statistics exist, it has been estimated that Israel possesses from 75 to as many as 400 nuclear weapons, which are reported to include thermonuclear weapons in the megaton range. Israel is also reported to possess a wide range of different systems, including neutron bombs, tactical nuclear weapons, and suitcase nukes. Israel is believed to manufacture its nuclear weapons at the Negev Nuclear Research Center.
Delivery mechanisms include Jericho intercontinental ballistic missiles, with a range of 11,500 km, and which are believed to provide a second-strike option. Israel's nuclear-capable ballistic missiles are believed to be buried so far underground that they would survive a nuclear attack. Additionally, Israel is believed to have an offshore nuclear second-strike capability, using submarine-launched nuclear-capable cruise missiles, which can be launched from the Israeli Navy's Dolphin-class submarines. The Israeli Air Force has F-15I and F-16I Sufa fighter aircraft are capable of delivering nuclear weapons at long distances using conformal fuel tanks and their Aerial refueling fleet of modified Boeing 707's.
The Israeli government maintains a policy of deliberate ambiguity on whether it has nuclear weapons, saying only that it would "not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons in the Middle East." Former International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei regarded Israel as a state possessing nuclear weapons. Much of what is known about Israel's nuclear program comes from revelations in 1986 by Mordechai Vanunu, a technician at the Negev Nuclear Research Center who served an 18-year prison sentence as a result. Israel has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but supports establishment of a Middle East Zone free of weapons of mass destruction.
According to him, the plant had been upgraded several times to increase production of plutonium and in 1985 could make 1.2 kg per week, enough for up to 12 nuclear warheads a year.
Israel's estimated nuclear capability had to be revised from a handful of weapons to approximately 100-200 warheads, ranging from battlefield weapons to warheads that could lay waste whole cities.
A United States Air Force report asserts that Israel is building a nuclear naval force...
It is the first time a U.S. military institution has stated that Israel has produced a hydrogen bomb. The number of purported Israeli nuclear weapons cited in the report is double that of previous assessments.
The report, sponsored by the air force's Counterproliferation Center, asserts that the navy can deploy any of what it asserts is Israel's 400 atomic and hydrogen weapons, Middle East Newsline reported. The center is located in the Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.
So, what say ye? Israel’s nuclear capabilities: fact or bluff?
Israel has not confirmed that it has nuclear weapons and officially maintains that it will not be the first country to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East. Yet the existence of Israeli nuclear weapons is a "public secret" by now due to the declassification of large numbers of formerly highly classified US government documents which show that the United States by 1975 was convinced that Israel had nuclear weapons.
Iran is about to wipe Israel off the face of the planet..
reply to post by schuyler
Except if their goal is to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, they will have achieved that, and if they truly do not care if they live or die, in fact, death in the furtherance of their particular religious belief is the highest reward ... well, would they care too much if they ensure their own destruction? It martyrs them.
Podhoretz includes the fantasy that Iran would be willing to annihilate itself in a nuclear war for religious reasons as one of these “indisputable” considerations, which confirms that the “old consensus” he refers to never existed anywhere except among hard-liners. The idea that Iran was and still is a “martyr-state” has never been widely held outside of very hawkish circles. Indeed, accepting this idea as plausible, much less “indisputable,” is one of the best giveaways that someone is a hard-liner on Iran with a very distorted understanding of the country. For that matter, the idea exists and circulates in the Iran debate to this day because hard-liners keep citing one another’s arguments to bolster the incredibly weak case for the “martyr-state” claim. So in this op-ed Podhoretz cites Bernard Lewis, whose understanding of Iran’s nuclear program in connection with Shi’ism is extremely warped to say the least, and assumes that Lewis’ view was the consensus view instead of the deeply contentious and ridiculous one that is always was. If he believes something this far-fetched is “indisputable,” is it any wonder that Podhoretz is confused by the “new consensus” that flatly rejects this idea as absurd?