Unofficially, Tel Aviv wants everyone to know it has them, and doesn’t hesitate to make thinly-veiled references to its willingness to use them if confronted by an existential threat. Estimates on the size of Tel Aviv’s nuclear stockpile range from 80 to 300 nuclear weapons, the latter number exceeding China’s arsenal.
The programme Jericho 5 ballistic missiles. For example, when Egyptian and Syrian armies attacked Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, a squadron of eight Israeli F-4 Phantom jets loaded with nuclear bombs was placed on alert by Prime Minister Golda Meir, ready to unleash nuclear bombs on Cairo and Damascus should the Arab armies break through.
Situated in a high conflict region, Israel possesses advanced conventional military capabilities, and has for decades maintained a policy of opacity (in Hebrew, amimut) regarding its WMD programs. While experts generally agree that Israel possesses nuclear weapons, no such current open source consensus exists on the status of Israel’s offensive chemical or biological weapons programs. Israel also possesses a sizeable arsenal of short- and medium-range ballistic and cruise missiles, and is working towards a multi-layered and comprehensive missile defense capability. In the same week Hizballah and its allies secured a majority in Lebanon’s parliament, Donald Trump walked away from US commitments under the six-party disarmament agreement, better known as the Iran deal. Talking to reporters in Jakarta airport on Thursday, Zarif noted that we neither expect Americans to solve our problems nor they are able to do that. We just expect them not to making troubles and the Europeans also have to conclude that If they want to get permission from the US to fulfill their obligations, the US will never allow them, Iran Press reported.”
Addressing the Europeans, Zarif said: “You have not asked to give Iran privilege or doing a favor for our country, you just have to fulfill your obligations. These commitments are neither dependent on the US nor subject to American permission.”