Carter says Israel has 150 nukes, condemns blockade on Palestinians

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 |  staff writer

Former United States President Jimmy Carter said that Israel has 150 nuclear weapons in its arsenal, the first time any US president has thrown out an estimate of Israel's nuclear arsenal.

Carter also ticked off other figures saying the US and the Soviet Union (Russia) have more than 12,000 nuclear weapons each and that Great Britain and France have several hundred.

Carter was arguing that the US should negotiate directly with Iran in order to persuade the Muslim nation to halt its nuclear program, The Times stated.

"My advice to the U.S. would be to start talking to Iran now," Carter said. He made the comments at the Hay-on-Wye literary festival in Wales.

Going a bit further, Carter condemned Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip as "one of the greatest human rights crimes now existing on Earth. There is no reason to treat these people this way," he said regarding Gaza's Palestinian residents.

Israeli officials refused to comment on Carter’s statements, particularly regarding nuclear capability. Israel is generally believed to have nuclear weapons, but has neither acknowledged nor denied its nuclear capability.

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