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On air: Should Israel be a special case in the nuclear debate?

Claudia Bradshaw Claudia Bradshaw | 09:13 UK time, Friday, 9 April 2010

NuclearPlant.jpg We're talking about nuclear weapons. In a week where the US and Russia have signed an historic deal to reduce nuclear weapons and warned Iran to stop its mission to build a nuclear bomb; the Israeli Prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has cancelled his visit to the US for a nuclear security summit because Egypt and Turkey are planning to raise the issue of Israel's nuclear weapons.

Israel has never admitted it has nuclear weapons although in 1986 Mordechai Vanunu, an Israeli nuclear technician, famously revealed details of a nuclear factory. The Federation of American Scientists estimates Israel could have produced up to 200 nuclear weapons.

Israel is one of just four states that have not signed up to a nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), which has 189 signatories. The others are India, Pakistan and North Korea.

Ben Moscovitch says Israel's nuclear program is stable, has not sparked an arms race in the region, and has not given terrorists access to the material. He says the NPT is focused on "preventing terrorists and rogue nations from gaining nuclear capabilities, something not an issue with Israel."

But Hazhir Teimourian says Muslims in the Middle East believe Israel has nuclear weapons and therefore "has no right to talk about any of the others."

And commenting in the Jerusalem Post, Larry in the US says:
"If Israel is allowed a free pass, so does Iran".

When it comes to nuclear weapons, should Israel be a special case?

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