Leaked emails from former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell confirms that Israel possesses a secret stash of some 200 nuclear weapons all targeted on the Iranian capital Tehran.
Israel is not a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and has therefore never revealed whether it has possession of nuclear weapons – so Colin Powell’s admission may have just given away the size of Israel’s entire nuclear arsenal.
The various email scandals that continue to plague the current presidential election race are gifts that keep on giving. The latest culprit of the most recent leaked email scandal, allegedly courtesy of Russian hackers, is none other than Iraq-war intelligence-manipulating mastermind, Colin Powell.
In an email to U.S. Democratic party donor Jeffrey Leeds, Powell discussed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the U.S. Congress in March 2015 about the dangers posed by the proposed Iranian nuclear deal. In that email, Powell cast doubt on Netanyahu’s pro-war rhetoric, doubting that using a nuclear weapon would even be an option for Tehran because “the boys in Tehran knowIsrael has 200, all targeted on Tehran, and we have thousands.”
Israel, which is not a member of the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty, has maintained a policy of refusing to confirm or deny their nuclear arsenal. In an interview with Bill Maher, Netanyahu did not officially confirm Israel’s nuclear arsenal but did so in a joking manner. This attitude has always led people to be relatively certain Israel possesses a cache of nuclear weapons.
Acknowledging such a fact would run counter to the narrative that Israel is a helpless victim of Iranian aggression, as Israel’s weapons capabilities would far surpass those of the Iranians.
Powell allegedly wrote, quoting former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:
“As Akmdinijad [sic] [said], ‘What would we do with one, polish it?’”
Powell has not denied the authenticity of his emails. Regardless, it’s nice to finally nice to have his confirmation of what many of us have suspected for years.