Israel Denies It Offered South Africa Warheads

JERUSALEM — The office of Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, strongly denied Monday that Mr. Peres, as Israel’s defense minister, offered to sell nuclear warheads to South Africa in 1975, as reported by The Guardian.

Dan Meridor, Israel’s deputy prime minister and minister of intelligence and atomic energy, told reporters on Monday that he had no particular knowledge of what went on in the 1970s, as he was “not in business” then, but that he believed Mr. Peres.

Yossi Beilin, a former leftist minister, also dismissed the newspaper article and the book on which it was based, “The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship With Apartheid South Africa,” by Sasha Polakow-Suransky.

“The article does not concretely say that Israel wanted to sell nuclear warheads. It is a conclusion,” Mr. Beilin told Israel Radio. “The book itself does not say this explicitly, and I think that the president’s denial puts an end to the subject.”


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