Nuclear weapons

Mordechai Vanunu leaves jail

By Jennifer Lipman, August 9, 2010

Nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu has been released from jail after serving a three month sentence.

The Israeli, 55, was first jailed in 1986 for disclosing confidential information about Israel’s nuclear operation to the British media.

He was released in 2004 but last year was arrested again for breaching the conditions of his parole. It was his second sentence for this.

Mr Vananu’s release had been conditional on him not travelling abroad, speaking to the media or having any contact with foreign nationals.

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Peres denies South Africa nuclear offer

May 27, 2010

The author of a new book on the relationship between Israel and South Africa has accused Israeli President Shimon Peres of evading the question of whether he offered to sell nuclear weapons to the apartheid regime in the 1970s.

"If Peres denies he made such an offer, perhaps he would like to explain exactly what he did discuss at these meetings," said American academic Sasha Polakow-Suransky, author of The Unspoken Alliance: Israel's secret alliance with apartheid South Africa, published this week in the US.

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Peres denies offering South Africa nuclear weapons

By Jennifer Lipman, May 24, 2010

The Israeli president has slammed The Guardian newspaper for its claim that Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons in the 1970s.

Shimon Peres said the allegations had no basis in reality and demanded a correction after the newspaper accused Israel of holding secret negotiations with South Africa's defence minister, PW Botha, in March 1975.

The newspaper said an American academic had uncovered secret documents showing that as Israel’s defence minister, Mr Peres had offered three sizes of warheads to the apartheid regime.

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Israeli whistleblower jailed

By Jennifer Lipman, May 24, 2010

Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu is back in prison after violating parole conditions.

Mr Vanunu, 55, was jailed in 1986 for disclosing confidential information about Israel’s nuclear operation to the British media.

The former technician at the Negev Nuclear Research Centre served 18 years of his sentence and was released in 2004, on condition he did not travel abroad, speak to the media or have contact with foreign nationals.

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Analysis: New nuclear deal is an Iranian triumph

By Emanuele Ottolenghi, May 21, 2010

Brazil's President Ignazio Lula da Silva and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have emerged as big global players after delivering a compromise over Iran's nuclear fuel following intensive diplomatic talks in Tehran.

Though not all its details are known yet, it is safe to conclude that this deal is even worse than the one it aimed to "improve" - namely, the uranium transfer deal that Iran first agreed to and then rejected last autumn.

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Iran agrees nuclear deal with Brazil and Turkey

By Jessica Elgot, May 17, 2010

Iran has agreed to ship low enriched uranium to Turkey, but has said it will still continue to enrich uranium to up to 20 per cent.

After talks with Brazil and Turkey, Iran has agreed to exchange Iran’s stocks of enriched uranium in exchange for nuclear fuel rods, for use in scientific research.

Although nuclear weapons need uranium enriched to 90 per cent, the deal deprives Iran of its current stocks of enriched uranium, which could be used in future bomb production. Fuel rods cannot be processed any further than their current state.

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America is playing along because of Iran

By Meir Javedanfar, May 6, 2010

Israel should not be unduly concerned about the US–Egyptian plan to start talks about a nuclear-free Middle East.

The US has clearly stated that for now it is "prepared to support practical measures towards the objective of a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction". The term "practical measures" in this case means supporting peace in the Middle East, and achieving it first, before the disarmament drive begins.

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Egypt pushes for nuclear-free region

By Anshel Pfeffer, May 6, 2010

Israeli officials have played down reports that the Obama administration will support an Egyptian plan to force Israel to disclose details of its nuclear arsenal and commit to disarmament, as part of its global strategy to reduce nuclear stockpiles.

There has been no confirmation of this from official administration sources and a very senior Israeli official said that "we have received no signal at all from the Americans on this".

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Ahmedinejad accuses US, Israel of planning Iran nuclear attack

By Jessica Elgot, May 4, 2010

British delegates walked out of a speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad at the United Nations, in which he attacked the US and Israel’s nuclear programmes at a session on nuclear proliferation.

The US Department of Defence used the same meeting to call for transparency about nuclear arms – revealing it has 5,113 nuclear weapons currently in its arsenal.

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Netanyahu cancels Washington trip

By Miriam Shaviv, April 9, 2010

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has cancelled his attendance in the nuclear summit in Washington next week, due to fears that Israel would be pressured to sign the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The summit, which will include 47 nations, is part of Mr Obama's agenda towards nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

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