Washington, May 24 (ANI): Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state's possession of nuclear weapons.
According to The Guardian, the "top secret" minutes of meetings between senior officials from the two countries in March 1975 show that South Africa's defence minister, P W Botha, asked for the warheads and Shimon Peres, then Israel's defence minister and now its president, responded by offering them "in three sizes".
The two men also signed a broad-ranging agreement governing military ties between the two countries that included a clause declaring that "the very existence of this agreement" was to remain secret.
Among those attending the meeting was the South African military chief of staff, Lieutenant General RF Armstrong. He immediately drew up a memo in which he laid out the benefits of South Africa obtaining the Jericho missiles but only if they were fitted with nuclear weapons.
The memo, marked "top secret" and dated the same day as the meeting with the Israelis, has previously been revealed, but its context was not fully understood because it was not known to be directly linked to the Israeli offer on the same day and that it was the basis for a direct request to Israel.
American academic, Sasha Polakow-Suransky accessed the documents while researching for a book on the close relationship between the two countries.
The documents provide evidence that Israel has nuclear weapons despite its policy of "ambiguity" in neither confirming nor denying their existence. (ANI)