The Guardian reports on new evidence showing Israel tried to sell South Africa nuclear weapons in 1975:
Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state’s possession of nuclear weapons.
The "top secret" minutes of meetings between senior officials from the two countries in 1975 show that South Africa’s defence minister, PW Botha, asked for the warheads and Shimon Peres, then Israel’s defence minister and now its president, responded by offering them "in three sizes". The two men also signed a broad-ranging agreement governing military ties between the two countries that included a clause declaring that "the very existence of this agreement" was to remain secret.
Aside from the linkage between one pariah state, apartheid-era South Africa, and Israel, which is fighting pariah status and the perception that it’s an apartheid state, the report provides some evidence that Israel possesses a never-acknowledged nuclear stash. Israel is denying the report.
It’s all based on research for a new book out by Sasha Polakow-Suransky, "The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa."
Here’s the Guardian’s take:
The Israeli authorities tried to stop South Africa’s post-apartheid government declassifying the documents at Polakow-Suransky’s request and the revelations will be an embarrassment, particularly as this week’s nuclear non-proliferation talks in New York focus on the Middle East.
They will also undermine Israel’s attempts to suggest that, if it has nuclear weapons, it is a "responsible" power that would not misuse them, whereas countries such as Iran cannot be trusted.
Full story here.