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Occidental intelligences facing Middle East's quest for nuclear weapons: the case of Israel Vs. the case of Iran

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  1. The nuclear bomb can determine the balance of the international powers
  2. Common points between the Israeli and the Iranian nuclear program
  3. Different context

The nuclear bomb is much more than a common weapon, it can determine the balance of the powers, it is a crucial point for understanding the international strategic relations: the nuclear bomb represents the possibility for a country to be wiped off the map. Between 1950 and 1990, it is important to replace the atomic bomb in the Cold War context. Each superpower tried to help its allies to defend themselves: it was a real nuclear arms race.

This subject is closely linked to intelligence insofar as the nuclear affairs are always shrouded in mystery: ?nobody says anything? is the current maxim. The misinformation is commonly used. The logical and structured reality of the nuclear affairs is completely hidden. After half of a century of nuclear cooperation, people at large still considers only eight countries have the atomic bomb. Usually, even the legislative power does not know the truth about that kind of affairs. Presidents usually solve the nuclear problems with the intelligence (Irangate case).

Why choosing those two countries? Since World War Two, Middle-East was a crucial stake of international policy. The petroleum factor has influenced a lot the decisions related to that question. Moreover, the evolution of middle-eastern nuclear program has always been much debated. Still today, the story of Iranian nuclear program is a taboo in the western countries. And yet, it started in the 50's with Israel, and even if today Israel and Iran are known as nuclear countries they are not officially considered as atomic powers. But the real question is not of those countries have or do not have the nuclear bomb; it is who gave it to them? It is interesting to see that a Muslim system and the Jewish state both have been armed by the Us with the help of France.

[...] With a tactless strategy that only aroused suspicion, Israel declared alternatively it was a metallurgical research complex, a textile factory or an agricultural station to eventually admit its nuclear research purposes still for ?peaceful purposes? as asserted by Ben-Gurion in December 1960.[8] In parallel, association with France became more oppressive with the election of Charles de Gaulle. Less enthusiastic about such a tight nuclear solidarity especially regarding the sensitive situation it implied toward the Arab states, the new French president set up new conditions to the cooperation. After considering merely putting a stop to the partnership with Israel, De Gaulle required in 1960 the reassertion by Israel of its nuclear program's peaceful purposes, the allowance of international inspections and a public declaration from Israeli officials of the existence of Dimona. [...]


[...] (2008) Latest Intelligence Crisis', Intelligence and National Security, 23:3, 371- 180 - Article : Fitzpatrick, Mark (2006) ?Lessons learned from Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons', The Nonproliferation Review, 13:3, 527- 537 - Article : Beres, Louis René (1997) ?Getting beyond nuclear deterrence: Israel, intelligence and false hope', International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence, 10:1, 75-90 - Article ?Israel crosses the threshold". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. May/June 2006. pp. 22-30. Retrieved on 2 July 2006. - Avner Cohen and William Burr, Untold Story of Israel's Bomb', Washington Post, April - Online article : Ravenel, Bernard (January 27th, 2004) ?Israel : une menace nucléaire globale', Association France Palestine Solidarité website : http://www.france-palestine.org/article187.html - Online article : Algazy, Joseph (August 2005) ?flou nucléaire? israélien', Le Monde Diplomatique website : http://www.monde- diplomatique.fr/2005/08/ALGAZY/12416 - Lemonde.fr website - Lexpress.fr website Jeffrey T. [...]


[...] On September, 17th 1980, Saddam Hussein declared war to Iran. However the Ayatollah Khomeini pursued its negotiations with the two candidates for the White House. On October, Reagan and Khomeini made a deal: the revival of the Iranian weaponry versus a late release of the American hostages.[32] On September, 4th Ronald Reagan was elected President, on January, 20th 1981, while he was taking oath, planes from Tehran brought back the American hostages. The lie about the relations between the US, France, western countries and Iran lasted during the presidencies of Reagan (1981-1989), George Bush (1989-1993), and Bill Clinton (1993-2000). [...]


[...] Its testimony was judged credible all the more that he could produce tangible proofs of his allegations. Indeed consequently to a personal and absolutely forbidden move, he had in 1985 managed to take a set of fifty- seven images, capturing into images most of the plant's secret zones. When it was published on October 5th of 1986, the Sunday Times article was able to inform the CIA but basically all the occidental intelligence agencies of many information which were still remaining unclear about the Dimona program. [...]


[...] US intelligence promptly reacted by interviewing Vanunu's interviewers and by a careful analysis of the pictures provided. Then they acquired the confirmation that Israel had been leading a nuclear weapons program since the beginning and that they might have participated to the South-African trial since they mastered the neutron bomb technology which was the one used. Vanunu himself was unable to complete its testimonial. Indeed thanks to the Australian Security Intelligence Organization, the Mossad was aware of Vanunu's intentions. Five days before the story was published, he commissioned one of its female agents to attract Vanunu in a romantic rendezvous in Italy. [...]

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