United Nations (Jul. 9)
A United Nations spokesman told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today that the text of a study on Israel’s nuclear weapons capability, under preparation by an international panel selected by Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, “has not yet been finalized, so that its precise contexts have not yet been established.”
The spokesman said it would be “inappropriate to comment on any part of the study until it has been officially submitted to the General Assembly.” The report will be published by the end of July or early August, he said.
The New York Times reported today that a “draft report written May 12” by the panel, which was named in response to a General Assembly resolution adopted in 1979, has concluded that Israel can make nuclear weapons “within a very short time.” But the study added, according to the Times, that Israel’s policy of “deliberate ambiguity” makes it impossible to determine whether Israel actually posseses bombs.
According to the Times, the panel calculates that “Israel may already have enough weapons-grade material for making several bombs comprable to the bomb dropped on Nagasaki,” in 1945. The panel also estimates that Israel’s Dimona reactor could have produced enough weapons-grade plutonium for 10 to 15 nuclear weapons.
Israeli diplomats said today they have not seen the panel’s draft report. Israel did not cooperate with the panel. The U.N. spokesman said that Waldheim has not seen “either the present text of the study or the preliminary text dated May 12.”