WASHINGTON (Jul. 19)
State Department spokesman Carl Bartch issued a statement yesterday that “Israel has publicly stated on numerous occasions that it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East. We take that pledge at face value.” He made the statement in reference to the New York Times evaluation of Israel’s nuclear capability. He also said “a number of nations, including Israel, possess the potential to develop nuclear weapons. This fact underscores the need for all nations that have not done so to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.” An Israeli embassy spokesman here told newsmen that Israel was not now a nuclear country and would not be the first to introduce such weapons. White House Press Secretary Ronald Ziegler said Israel has said repeatedly it would not introduce nuclear weapons in the Mideast.