Biden Reaffirms US’ Half-Century of Support of Israel's Alleged Nuclear Arsenal - Report
01:28 GMT 02.09.2021 (Updated: 13:23 GMT 06.08.2022)
For the past 50 years, the US has agreed not to pressure Israel to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty, with the "tradition" going back to President Nixon.
President Joe Biden has reaffirmed the United States’ long-held agreement with Israel that Washington will not pressure the Jewish State on its alleged nuclear arsenal, in exchange for which, the latter will not use, test, or threaten the use of their nuclear arsenal, Israeli media reported Wednesday, citing an unnamed official.
The long-held agreement between the two nations was reportedly discussed during the meeting between Biden and Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett over the past weekend.
The arrangement dates back to a 1969 oral agreement between US President Richard Nixon and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. While subsequent US presidents and Israeli prime ministers have continued to uphold this informal commitment, following the Gulf War in 1991, the Israeli government made a push to formalize the agreement. Bill Clinton signed the first official letter that allowed Israel, free of US pressure, to maintain its strategic deterrence of nuclear weapons.
Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and President Biden also discussed how to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Prime Minister Bennett opposed the Iran nuclear deal that President Biden, as vice president in the Obama administration, helped secure. After the Trump administration pulled the US out of the agreement, the Biden administration has aimed to restore the deal. On the subject of Iran, US and Israeli policy are at odds.
As Israel has been sounding an alarm about the potential dangers of Iran's nuclear program, claiming the Islamic Republic is secretly working to develop nuke, Tehran has slammed Western countries for their hypocrisy, as they have ignored reports of the Jewish State having obtained nuclear weapons long ago.
The 50-year agreement between the US and Israel has helped shape US foreign policy in the Middle East throughout the Cold War and into the present. Even if the two nations don’t see eye to eye on how to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Biden reaffirming the US’ support for Israel’s nuclear program is an affirmation of the two nations' long-standing alliance.