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Peres, Israel Ready to Guarantee It Will Not Put Nuclear Warheads on Weapons Supplied by the U.S.

September 19, 1975
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Israeli Defense Minister Shimon Peres said yesterday that Israel was ready to guarantee that it will not put nuclear warheads on weapons supplied by the United States that are capable of delivering such warheads. “If you want to, we shall give such a guarantee,” he declared in the course of an address to the National Press Club here, Peres, who arrived here to discuss weapons supplies with U.S. officials, was apparently referring to the “Pershing” ground-to-ground missile which Israel is seeking and which has a nuclear delivery capability.

The Israeli defense chief also disclosed to his National Press Club audience how the proposals to place American technicians in Sinai evolved during last month’s negotiations for an Egyptian-Israeli interim agreement.


According to Peres “the first to suggest” that Americans man advance warning stations was President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, during his talks with President Ford in Salzburg, Austria, last June. Peres said that Israel originally did not agree and made counter-proposals.

These included, Peres said, an Israeli-manned warning station in Egyptian territory and an Egyptian-manned station in Israel-held territory, which Sadat refused. Israel then proposed that each side man its own advance warning posts. The final agreement calls for the latter, plus posts between Israeli and Egyptian lines manned by Americans.

Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger has insisted all along that the American presence was not initiated by the U.S., but the proposal written into the agreement was drafted by the U.S. Some sources maintained that Israel had asked for the American presence but Peres claimed yesterday that it was Sadat.


Asked if the U.S. presence might prompt the Soviet Union to demand a similar presence in the area, Peres said that would be “a very strange request” inasmuch as there are now 9000 Soviet personnel in Syria and 75 Soviet officers in Egypt, placed there without consulting Israel.

Asked whether the $2.2 or $2.3 billion in U.S. economic aid the Ford Administration will offer Israel would have any impact on Israel’s serious internal economic situation, Peres replied, “No impact whatsoever.” He said that $1,8 billion would go for the purchase of U.S. military equipment, and $150 million to build a new defense line in Sinai and $550 million for oil to replace the Abu Rodeis oil are all included in the aid package.

Peres expressed thanks on behalf of Israel to the American people, their institutions, the Administration and the media “for the understanding Israel has enjoyed through the years.” The Defense Minister’s schedule in Washington included a meeting with Kissinger last night, a meeting with Defense Secretary James R. Schlesinger today and meetings with members of Congress Friday. He will also address a United Jewish Appeal meeting in New York Friday.

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