Interesting letter in yesterday’s London Independent:
Your report concerning the possible strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities by Israel (29 February) might have alluded also to Israel’s apparent attempt to obtain “second strike” facility.
Currently undergoing sea trials is a new Dolphin class submarine built for Israel by a subsidiary company of ThyssenKrupp in Kiel – one of three to be delivered. This submarine, 68 metres in length and understood to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons, is the largest submarine built in Germany since the Second World War. It is claimed in the German press that these new submarines have the advantage both of being more difficult to detect, and to have less need to break surface, as they run on fuel cells. The apparent intention is to mount a permanent patrol off the coast of Iran.
Perhaps of equal interest is that one third of the purchase price of a third submarine to be built will be paid for by Germany, up to a maximum of €135m as part-reparation – this was revealed in a Wikileaks report from the US Embassy in Tel Aviv. The reparation element seems to relate to Israeli claims against the GDR before reunification.
The disparity between reporting of Iran’s nuclear policy and the almost total silence concerning Israel’s nuclear weapons and its refusal to either join the Non-Proliferation Treaty or even to allow international inspection must be a matter of incredulity in Middle Eastern states, if not in Europe.
And just to heap irony upon irony, according to the Jerusalem Post in 2010, the Iranian state holds a 4.5 per cent stake in ThyssenKrupp.
Professor of International Law
University of Kent Canterbury