In Shocking Breach, U.S. Declassifies Document Revealing Some of Israel’s Nuclear Capabilities



On February 12, the Pentagon quietly declassified a top-secret 386-page Department of Defense document from 1987 detailing Israel’s nuclear program – the first time Israel’s alleged nuclear program has ever been officially and publicly referenced by the U.S. authorities.

In the declassified document, the Pentagon reveals supposed details about Israel’s deterrence capabilities, but it kept sections on France, Germany, and Italy classified. Those sections are blacked out in the document.

The two main exceptions in the international media that wrote about the declassification at the time were the state-funded Iranian regime station Press TV and the state-funded Russian station RT.

Both these media were rumored to have been tipped off about this obscure report at the time by persons in Washington. (Both the RT and PressTV stories falsely claim that the U.S. gave Israel help in building a hydrogen bomb. This is incorrect.)

Israel has never admitted to having nuclear weapons. To do so might spark a regional nuclear arms race, and eventual nuclear confrontation.

The declassification is a serious breach of decades’ old understandings concerning this issue between Israel and its north American and certain European allies.

The Pentagon’s February declassification coincided with intense pressure on the Netanyahu government by the Obama administration, trying to force the Israeli prime minister to cancel a planned speech to Congress questioning the wisdom of a highly risky nuclear deal with the Iranian regime.

However, in the past 24 hours several media in the U.S. and elsewhere have now chosen to report on the February declassification by the Pentagon. This coincides with stepped up efforts this week by the Obama administration to weaken Israel’s deterrent capabilities, including leaking to the Wall Street Journal incorrect allegations that Israel directly spies on the U.S.

An informed person connected to the government in Jerusalem, tells me:

“Over the years there have been backhanded references and comments made by individuals with some familiarity with this issue. But there has never before been any official description of the quality and capacity of installations. This kind of declassified document constitutes a whole different level of acknowledgement. It is part of a pattern of carefully controlled leaking of information which is very hard to attribute to a specific government agency or individual. Nevertheless it is clear what is happening.

“The failure to maintain the degree of mature and cooperative discretion that officials from several governments have exercised up to now, marks a serious change in the code of conduct. It is not wise to draw attention to this issue because it would tend to destabilize the international order and encourage others to pursue nuclear capabilities.”

The Pentagon declassification is not the first time the Obama administration has seemingly tried to curtail or control Israeli efforts to stop the Iranian nuclear program.

In May 2011, the State Department revealed that the Israeli business tycoon brothers Sami and Yuli Ofer, were sending their cargo ships to Iran, as reported, for example, here in the Financial Times.

The Sunday Times of London, again on the basis of tip-offs, reported on June 5, 2011 that cargo ships owned by a subsidiary of the Ofer Brothers Group were being used to shuttle Israeli agents and reconnaissance equipment into Iran.

According to the report, at least eight ships belonging to companies owned by the Ofer group docked in Iranian ports to load and offload cargo in the years prior to 2011, as Israel made substantive efforts (aided by some European countries) to slow down and hamper Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Sami Ofer died on June 2, 2011, three days before that report was published.


{ Newscenter}


  1. We have to take all news and reports with a grain of salt. The writer may have a bias or just be looking to spice up a story. This site also has a clear anti-Obama slant, even to the childish extent of using unflattering photos of him together with articles knocking him.

    That said, this story (if accurate) is very disturbing. This is a discretionary breach in basic core protocol that has lasted nearly fifty years. The facts officially revealed can’t be retracted and puts additional worldwide pressure on Israel on a permanent basis.

  2. It’s not a “shocking breach”. By law, certain classified documents are automatically declassified after 25 or 30 years.

  3. Mr charlie,it doesn’t take a rocket science to realize Obama dislikes BB (Israel). yes, they do they help them in the UN and in many other ways. i can go on and on how he showed obvious hate to Israel. all im asking is to open your eyes and follow fax, not your emotions(hence, liberal views).

  4. Hey Charlie. Where have we heard the “right wing conspiracy” theory before? Oh right. When first lady Hillary defended her husband in his own scandal. How’d that turn out? Invoking the “right wing conspiracy” is a signal that you’re a closed minded leftist that tries to wave away any news you wish were false.

  5. The story is pointless. Everyone has known for decades that Israel has nuclear weapons. The secret has been so open that it’s never been a secret. I heard an Israeli official reference it in a speech in the US around 1969. Everybody knows. Why do you think Iran has been playing around with the possibility of nuclear weapons?

    Yes, we have the bomb. So what? Lots of other countries have it by now. This article is obviously bringing this up for political reasons. It’s not news.

  6. I am not the author of comment #1.

    That said, this is not a story, and the article leaves out some important facts. The document was declassified routinely as the result of a Freedom of Information Act request; there is no reason for anything like this from the Cold War period. The analysis was paid for by US taxpayers who deserve who be able to read it. In addition, the Obama administration actually fought the Freedom of Information Act request for three years, unsuccessfully. Obama’s opponents have been (somewhat correctly) criticizing him for excessive secrecy and the final decision to declassify and release this is a victory for them. Third, the article gets the Ofer shipping incident completely wrong; the US State Department slapped sanctions on them for illegal trading with Iran and that was announced May 24, 2011.

    It is positively Orwellian to blast Obama as anti-Israel when in fact his policies are attempts to support Israel. That is the case both for this report and the Ofer shipping.

  7. well #1 & #2, Obama has a clear anti Israel slant, even using childish behavior to try to get back at our allies.

    Keep it up Matzav – this president is a disgrace to the office of presidency of the USA.