Washington, Oct. 2 (ANI): US President Barack Obama has assured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the four-decade-old secret Israel-American accord, allowing Israel to keep a nuclear arsenal without opening it to international inspections, would continue.
According to the Washington Times, the US since 1969 has not pressured Israel to disclose its nuclear weapons or to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which could require Israel to give up its estimated several hundred nuclear bombs.
However, Israel had been nervous that Obama would not continue the understanding because of his strong support for non-proliferation and priority on preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
In fact, Netanyahu 's reaction to a question last week clearly reflected of the continuing US-Israel understanding, but it went unnoticed.
"Iin my first meeting with President Obama in Washington I received from him, and I asked to receive from him, an itemized list of the strategic understandings that have existed for many years between Israel and the United States on that issue. It was not for naught that I requested, and it was not for naught that I received."
The chief nuclear understanding was reached at a summit between President Nixon and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir that began on Sept. 25, 1969.
Avner Cohen, author of "Israel and the Bomb", said the accord amounts to "the United States passively accepting Israel's nuclear weapons status as long as Israel does not unveil publicly its capability or test a weapon."
The resulting policy was the equivalent of "don't ask, don't tell."
Although there is no formal record of the agreement, the Nixon library declassified a July 19, 1969, memo on the issue.
"While we might ideally like to halt actual Israeli possession, what we really want at a minimum may be just to keep Israeli possession from becoming an established international fact," it said. (ANI)