Colin Powell Leaked Emails Reveal Israel Has “200 Nuclear Bombs”
According to Judah Ari Gross of The Times of Israel, “Discussing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 2015 speech to Congress about the dangers posed by the Iranian nuclear deal, in an email he sent to US Democratic party donor Jeffrey Leeds, Powell wrote that he doubted the Iranian regime would use an atomic bomb even if it could get one, since “the boys in Tehran know Israel has 200, all targeted on Tehran, and we have thousands.” The email was published by theLobeLog foreign policy website.
Israel maintains a policy of so-called nuclear ambiguity, they will not publicly confirm or deny the existence of an atomic arsenal.
According to a 2014 report by the Federation of American Scientists, Israel is believed to possess between 80 and 400 nuclear weapons, but the authors guessed the actual number was closer to 80 than 400.
Powell’s email, sent on March 3, 2015, more than doubled that approximation. As a former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, his figure of 200 nuclear weapons would appear to carry more weight than the approximations of the “news media reports, think tanks, authors, and analysts” cited in the FAS report.
A trove of Powell’s emails was posted on the website DCLeaks.com and first reported by Buzzfeed News late Tuesday. Powell, 79, did not deny the emails’ authenticity when asked for comment by Buzzfeed.
Gross continues, “The emails, which run from March 2015 through last month, offer rare insight into the unvarnished opinions of the respected retired US Army general, who was secretary of state under President George W. Bush.
DCLeaks.com has been alleged to be an outlet for hackers tied to the Russian intelligence groups. The website, which says it intends to expose the misuse of political power, has previously released emails from other Washington political figures.”
In the leaked emails, Powell also bashed both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and spoke frankly about a number of issues related to the US government.
However, his March 3, 2015, email dealt specifically with the Iranian nuclear deal and Netanyahu’s controversial speech to Congress that day about it.