Israeli President Shimon Peres says regional suspicion over an Israeli nuclear arms program is a good deterrent against hostile Middle East nations who may be trying to obtain their own atomic weapons.
In an interview with the Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman published on Sunday, Peres dodged a question about Israel joining the international Non-Proliferation Treaty.
“Israel never said we should detonate a nuclear bomb in the Middle East, but people are suspicious. And if the suspicion is a deterrent, it’s good enough. We are satisfied with the suspicion. We don’t want anything more,” said Peres.
The elder statesman is believed to be largely responsible for the birth of Israel's alleged nuclear arms program. Israel has never confirmed nor denied that it possesses nuclear weapons, sticking instead to a strict policy of nuclear ambiguity so as to maintain deterrence against its enemies while not contributing to a regional nuclear arms race.