Leaked Colin Powell Email Purports Israel Has 200 Nukes

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2008 file photo, former Secretary of State Colin Powell is seen in Washington. Powell says he sent Hillary Clinton a memo touting his use of a personal email account after she took over as the nation’s top diplomat in 2009. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File

The Times of Israel reports: Former US secretary of state and four-star general Colin Powell alleged that Israel possesses some 200 nuclear weapons, in an email apparently leaked by Russian hackers this week.

Discussing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 2015 speech to Congress about the dangers posed by the Iranian nuclear deal, in an email he sent to US Democratic party donor Jeffrey Leeds, Powell wrote that he doubted the Iranian regime would use an atomic bomb even if it could get one, since “the boys in Tehran know Israel has 200, all targeted on Tehran, and we have thousands.”

The email was published by the LobeLog foreign policy website.

Israel maintains a policy of so-called nuclear ambiguity, neither publicly confirming nor denying the existence of an atomic arsenal.

According to a 2014 report by the Federation of American Scientists, however, the Jewish state is believed to possess between 80 and 400 nuclear weapons, though that document’s authors estimated the figure was closer to 80.

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