The U.S. government has chosen to declassify a top secret document that pulls the lid off Israel's nuclear weapons program.
According to Israel National News,
the document written in 1987 was released in early February. It is believed to be the first time the U.S. has publicly acknowledged Israel has nuclear arms.
The 386-page document provides a detailed breakdown of how Israel developed nuclear weapons in the 1970s and 1980s.
Israel is "developing the kind of codes which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs. That is, codes which detail fission and fusion processes on a microscopic and macroscopic level," reads the report, called "Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations."
The document, paraphrases Israel National News, says Israel was "reaching the ability to create bombs considered a thousand times more powerful than atom bombs" in the 1980s.
The document also says Israel's nuclear research laboratories "are equivalent to [the United States'] Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories."
"As far as nuclear technology is concerned the Israelis are roughly where the U.S. was in the fission weapon field in about 1955 to 1960," reads the document.
Courthouse News Service
obtained a copy of the document, which was released in the weeks leading up to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's March 3 speech
in front of Congress, in which he warned the world about Iran's nuclear program.
The document's release stems from a legal battle started by Grant Smith of the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy. The Pentagon, according to Israel National News, initially was slow to respond to Smith's request. Smith then filed a lawsuit, and the document was released in February.
Notably, sections of the report that discuss Italy, France, West Germany, Germany, and "Other Nato Countries" are redacted in the unclassified version.
In the section about Israel, the report details the nation's several weapons programs, complete with charts and pictures that depict weapons systems.
The report was written by the Institute for Defense Analysis, an agency working in tandem with the Pentagon.
Tensions have run high
between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama in recent months, and the White House was opposed to Netanyahu's Congressional speech — which neither the president nor Vice President Joe Biden
Netanyahu was not even invited to the White House during his visit to Washington, D.C.
Netanyahu is skeptical
of any deal cut between Iran and a group of six countries that includes the U.S. over Iran's nuclear program.
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