I hate to ruin the mood The Guardian‘s trying to create. It picked up on a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) about the state of nuclear weapons in the world today.
Israel never signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (neither did India or Pakistan), but you’ll be forgiven for being misled. It’s just a silly detail the paper never bothered mentioning.
At the start of 2013, eight states – the US, Russia, UK, France, China, India, Pakistan and Israel – possessed approximately 4,400 operational nuclear weapons. Nearly 2,000 of these are kept in a state of high operational alert. If all nuclear warheads are counted, these states together possess a total of approximately 17,265 nuclear weapons, says the Sipri report.
Signatories of the non-proliferation treaty, including the UK, pledge to work towards nuclear disarmament . . .
Sipri estimates that Israel has approximately 80 intact nuclear weapons, 50 for its Jericho II medium-range ballistic missiles and 30 for gravity bombs carried by aircraft. Israel may also have produced non-strategic nuclear weapons, including artillery shells and atomic demolition munitions, says the yearbook.
I don’t know how Sipri arrived at those estimates of Israel’s alleged atomic arsenal. (You need to purchase a printed a copy of Sipri’s yearbook to get access to the online version.)
Memo to The Guardian: If you can’t resist labeling Israel as “defiant,” just be up front and say those darn Zionists didn’t sign on to the NPT.