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Agence France Presse

Israel Has '150 or More' Nuclear Weapons: Carter

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Israel has "150 or more" nuclear weapons, former US president Jimmy Carter said at a press conference over the weekend, a spokesman for the literary festival at which he was speaking confirmed.Asked how a future US president should deal with the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran, the 83-year-old said: "The US has more than 12,000 nuclear weapons, the Soviet Union (sic) has about the same; Great Britain and France have several hundred, and Israel has 150 or more."

"We have a phalanx of enormous weaponry, not only of enormous weaponry, but of rockets to deliver those missiles on a pinpoint accuracy target," he said at a press conference in Hay-on-Wye, in Wales, on Sunday, according to a spokesman for the Guardian Hay Festival.

Israel is widely believed to be the only nuclear power in the Middle East but has a policy of neither confirming nor denying its arsenal.

At the same press conference, Carter described Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip as "one of the greatest human rights crimes now existing on Earth" and the Nobel Peace Prize winner also said the European Union's failure to support the Palestinian cause was "embarrassing".

© 2008 Agence France Presse

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