Nuclear Program Israel
The nuclearization of the Middle East was initiated by Israel‘s nuclear efforts. Israel’s nuclear program dates back to the early years of the state. Apart from scientific research, the program is almost entirely military in nature. On the basis of a conversation with the current President Shimon Peres, the American journalist Seymour Hersh mentions 1952 as a critical year. At that time, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion appears to have told a select group of ministers and officials that, in the long run, the only way to bridge the vast demographic, economic, and military gap between Israel and its Arab neighbours was to build nuclear weapons. Ben-Gurion susequently steered Israel’s nuclear project and in 1952 established the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC).
Fanack offers a special file on Iran’s and other Nuclear Programs in the region.
- Israel’s nuclear program dates back to the early years of the state. Apart from scientific research, the program is almost entirely military in nature.
- Iran’s nuclear program dates back to the 1970s when Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi decided that oil in the ground was better than dollars in the bank
- The Iraqi nuclear program dates back to the 1970s. The means by which Iraq tried to obtain nuclear weapons were diverse. In 1976, France sold Iraq a 40 megawatt test reactor called the Tammuz-1 reactor, or Osirak. The reactor was designed to run on highly...
- Though Egypt has long had the financial resources and technical expertise to build a reactor, during the 1980s it all but suspended its nuclear program.
- Partly by way of a reaction to the above-described Israeli and Iranian programs, in recent years several other Middle Eastern countries have expressed interest in this question.
- Looking back on the history of the Middle East, the political-military impact of the various nuclear programs, both the Israeli one (which according to all reports has borne fruit) and the rest (which have not yet done so) has been considerable.
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