Israel Arming Subs With Nuclear Missiles
Israel is placing nuclear-tipped cruise missiles on submarines supplied by Germany, according to a new report — assuring a retaliatory capability following a nuclear attack from Iran.
The German news weekly Der Spiegel disclosed that Berlin had until now denied any knowledge that Israeli submarines, largely financed by Germany, were being used as part of an Israeli atomic arsenal.
But former high-ranking officials of the German defense ministry told Der Spiegel that the government had long assumed that Israel was putting nuclear warheads on the Dolphin-class vessels.
Germany has supplied Israel with three Dolphin-class subs, footing most of the bill, and another three are scheduled to be delivered by 2017.
In Israel, foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP: "I can confirm that we have German submarines. It's no secret. As for the rest, I am not in a position to talk about their capacity.”
A spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the submarines had been delivered unarmed and stated: "The federal government will not speculate on subsequent arming.”
Israel fears an attack from arch-foe Iran if the Islamic Republic obtains nuclear weapons, and like the United States has refused to rule out bombing Iranian nuclear sites.
Der Spiegel quoted Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak as saying: “The Germans can be proud to have ensured the existence of the state of Israel for several years to come."