A respected news magazine in Germany has reported that Israel is arming German-built submarines with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.
Der Spiegel said three vessels have already been delivered and three more are planned.
Israel has a policy of not commenting officially on its nuclear programme, but defence minister Ehud Barack told the magazine that Germans should be proud that they have secured the future of Israel.
With international suspicion growing about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, this latest news came with a warning from Tehran to Tel Aviv not to attack any Iranian nuclear sites.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said: “They (Israel) know that under these conditions they are more vulnerable than before. If they take any miscalculated action, they will receive a thunderous blow.”
Der Spiegel said that three more German-built submarines are due to be delivered to Israel by 2017. It reports that the contract for the sixth vessel had included several conditions, including a halt to Jewish settlement building. So far, none of the terms has been met.