Carter: Israel Has 150 Nuclear Weapons

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CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Former US President Jimmy Carter made Israeli headlines again with excerpts from articles in Britain's London Times and The Guardian.

In an article published Monday in the Times, Carter said Israel's cache of 150 nuclear weapons proves Teheran couldn't develop a nuclear arsenal secretly and therefore the international community should open dialogue with the Islamic Republic to dissuade them from developing nuclear weapons.

Carter's assessment of Israel's nuclear capabilities has not been confirmed by Israeli government officials nor other heads of state. It's highly unusual and some here in Israel believe it is inappropriate for a former U.S. president to speculate about Israel's nuclear capabilities.

"We need to talk to Iran now and continue our discussions with Iran to let Iran know the benefits and the detrimental side of continuing their nuclear program," Carter said.

In a separate interview with The Guardian, Carter called the economic embargo of the Gaza Strip "one of the greatest human rights crimes on Earth."

The 83-year-old former president also said Europeans should back the formation of a unity government between Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction and Hamas.

"They [EU member nations] should be encouraging Hamas to have a cease-fire in Gaza alone, as a first step," Carter said.

"They should be encouraging Israel and Hamas to reach an agreement in prisoner exchange and, as a second step, Israel should agree to a cease-fire in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria], which is Palestinian territory," he said.

Sources: The Jerusalem Post, YNet news

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