Trump follows predecessors, signs agreement to not pressure Israel on nukes

The report posted in The New Yorker speaks of how the White House was surprised with Israel’s unannounced insistence to sign secret agreement, following in the footsteps of President Trump’s predecessors.



US President Donald Trump, like the three US presidents before him, signed a letter when he entered office, declining to pressure Israel to sign an international nuclear-nonproliferation treaty, according to a report in The New Yorker released on Tuesday.

The report claims Israel houses a nuclear facility near the Negev city of Dimona, something that Israel neither confirms nor denies, and presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all signed similar letters. The report states that when Trump entered office, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer went to the White House to arrange for Trump to sign the letter, stressing the need for secrecy and a limit on who could take part in the discussion. Dermer reportedly spoke to then-US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Netanyahu meets with President Donald Trump in Jerusalem, May 2017 – Photo courtesy/ U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv

The report claims the first letter was drafted under Clinton, in exchange for Israeli participation in the 1998 Wye River negotiations.

“President Bill Clinton assured the Jewish state that no future American arms-control initiative would ‘detract’ from Israel’s ‘deterrent’ capabilities, an oblique but clear reference to its nuclear arsenal,” the report claims.

Despite noticeable disagreements with his Israeli counterpart, Obama, too, signed the letter, and reportedly referenced the secret letter in a 2010 speech discussing Israeli security requirements.


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