Israel’s nuclear facility in Dimona helped to spur the signing of the Oslo Accords between the Jewish state and the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1993, retired veteran statesman Shimon Peres has stated.
Regional conjecture over rumored nuclear weapons work at the Negev Nuclear Research Center was a factor in reaching the historic agreements on the peace process, the former president indicated in an interview with TIME magazine published Tuesday.
“Dimona helped us to achieve Oslo. Because many Arabs, out of suspicion, came to the conclusion that it’s very hard to destroy Israel because of it, because of their suspicion,” Peres told TIME of the controversial peace process he helped initiate as Israel’s then-foreign minister.
While Israel maintains a policy of nuclear ambiguity, refusing to either confirm or deny possession of atomic weapons, Peres asserted that “we’ve never threatened anybody with nuclear bombs, and we’ve never tested it.”