State Dept: Israel in Charge of When We’ll Enforce US Bans on Foreign Aid Over Its Nuclear Weapons Program

In "major policy disclosure breakthrough" State Department spokesperson Ned Price responds to questions by Sam Husseini, referring questions about Israel's nuclear weapons program to...Israel.

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On Monday, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price would not acknowledge Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal, actually referring questions on the subject to the Israeli government itself. After the briefing, I received a written response to detailed questions regarding Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal I submitted on Feb. 13, below.

The State Dept. is, as I charged, maintaining – actually escalating – a decades long cover-up in not acknowledging Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal. This is for the apparent purpose of not invoking the Glenn-Symington amendment to the Arms Export Act, which prohibits aid to nuclear proliferators. Archbishop Desmond Tutu admonished the Biden administration to end this cover-up in his last article, published by the Guardian a year before his death: “Joe Biden should end the US pretence over Israel’s ‘secret’ nuclear weapons: The cover-up has to stop – and with it, the huge sums in aid for a country with oppressive policies towards Palestinians.” Clearly, the administration is not heeding Tutu’s words.

This comes at a time when the Biden administration is reportedly greenlighting Israeli threats to attack Iran, a subject which Price passed on addressing at the news conference.

Video (transcript below):

Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, who has closely tracked US policy toward Israel’s nuclear weapons program, said today: "This is a major policy disclosure breakthrough. The State Department is admitting that formal US acknowledgement of Israel’s nuclear weapons program and accountability to U.S. taxpayers who want Arms Export Control Act compliance is Israel’s decision.

“For example, ongoing lack of progress on JCPOA negotiations over Iran’s thus far non-weapons producing program means zero AECA [Arms Export Control Act] enforcement on Israel’s program. Israeli declarations that a rival’s delivery systems are ‘nuclear capable’ means zero AECA enforcement on Israel’s program.

“Israeli ‘discovery’ or suspicion of the existence of any ‘rogue’ nuclear facility such as the one Israel destroyed in Syria in 2018 mandate zero AECA enforcement on Israel’s program. False but enduring US intelligence community 2001 assertions that aluminum tubes bound for Iraq were to be used for centrifuges or that country was determined to procure uranium from Niger mandate zero AECA enforcement on Israel’s program. CD’s seized by Mossad from "Iran’s nuclear archive" reported in 2018 mandate zero AECA enforcement on Israel’s program.

“If such a State Department position and foreign aid law had been in place in 1963, when JFK was fighting to keep the Israelis from producing nuclear weapons at Dimona, Israel could have delayed enforcement. The Israeli government, through publications financed by the Jewish Agency and distributed in the United States, was accusing Egypt of building ‘weapons of mass destruction’ in order to ‘launch a war of extermination against Israel.’” [See graphic below]

”The Department of State’s declared position means that Israel effectively controls when, if ever, the US will uphold AECA. Given Israel’s position of ‘nuclear ambiguity’ over its own weapons and constant generation of often false reports about its regional rivals, AECA enforcement will never happen.”


HUSSEINI: Yeah, I ask you about the apparent Israeli violations of the Arms Export Act a week or two ago [“State Dept. Claims ‘We Follow the Law in Every Instance’ but Stonewalls on Law About Israeli Nukes”], and you said you weren’t familiar with the laws that would cut off funding to any state that was a nuclear proliferator. Do you have anything further on that?

PRICE: I believe the team provided you some additional background on that. [They emailed me that they would but didn’t give a substantial response until after I asked this question (below)] As in the past, we’re just not in a position to comment specifically on this. Would refer you and any questions you may have on this –

HUSSEINI: But how do you have – how do you expect to have any credibility on this subject when you can’t even acknowledge that Israel has a nuclear weapons arsenal?

PRICE: Again, I just don’t have anything to offer on this, so we’d refer any questions to the Israeli government. As a practice, when it comes to just about any country, certainly any partner, we don’t speak in detail to the capabilities, to the programs of partners around the world, just as we would expect they would not speak to ours.


HUSSEINI: You’re referring me to the Israeli government about their own nuclear program?

QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

PRICE: That’s correct.

HUSSEINI: About their own nuclear program – you can’t acknowledge that Israel has a nuclear weapons program?

Full transcript of Feb. 27 news conference. Full video.

After questioning State on Feb. 13, I was asked to submit more information to State, which I did that day:

The Symington and Glenn Amendments in the Arms Export Control Act 22 USC §2799aa-1 forbid US aid to clandestine nuclear weapons state non-NNPT signatories unless presidents obtain a waiver from Congress.

Israel has been acknowledged by the US as a nuclear weapons state.

The 1974 CIA SNIE states "We believe that Israel already has produced nuclear weapons."

The Department of Defense report Critical Technology Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations clearly documents Israel’s nuclear weapons production facilities, revealing:

1. The Israelis were "developing the kind of codes which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs. That is, codes which detail fission and fusion processes on a microscopic and macroscopic level."

2. "The SOREQ and the Dimona/Beer Shiva facilities are the equivalent of our Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories. The SOREQ center runs the full nuclear gamut of activities from engineering, administration and non-destructive testing to electro-optics, pulsed power, process engineering and chemistry and nuclear research and safety. This is the technology base required for nuclear weapons design and fabrication."

3. "The capability of SOREQ to support SDIO and nuclear technologies is almost an exact parallel of the capability currently existing at our National Laboratories."

While there are provisions in USC §2799aa-1 for presidents to obtain waivers from the Congress for continued aid, as recently as 2018 a member of congress confirmed that no such waivers had ever been issued. (attached)

My unanswered question remains, specifically, how can past, present and future U.S. foreign aid to Israel be lawful under the Symington Glenn amendment restrictions found currently in USC §2799aa-1 and in force since 1976?

I had some communication but did receive a response until Feb. 27 at 9 p.m. from State, which makes no reference to the law cited. This is especially remarkable since the entire exchange took place because Ned Price, the State Department spokesperson claimed: “We follow the law in every instance.”

U.S. policy on this issue has been consistent for decades. The United States has long supported universal adherence to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and remains firmly committed to the goal of a Middle East free of all weapons of mass destruction and delivery systems. We have urged all states that have not yet done so to accede to the NPT and to accept full-scope IAEA safeguards on all of their nuclear activities.

However, we acknowledge that achieving these goals in the Middle East is a long-term objective that will require essential precursors to be in place, including a comprehensive and durable regional peace and compliance by all regional states with their existing nonproliferation commitments and obligations.

So, Israel has to make peace with everyone before the US will acknowledge it has nuclear weapons.

Sam Husseini is an independent journalist who writes at He’s also the founder of – which helps break out of the two party bind. Reprinted with the author’s permission from

18 thoughts on “State Dept: Israel in Charge of When We’ll Enforce US Bans on Foreign Aid Over Its Nuclear Weapons Program”

  1. Israel is the original U.S. client state in the Middle East. So of course the U.S. lets Israel do whatever it wants. And now, we have the Zionists, most of whom in the U.S. are Christian fanatics, who also think that Israel can do no wrong.

  2. This comes at a time when the Biden administration is reportedly greenlighting Israeli threats to attack Iran
    It appears that the three letter agencies are preparing the population for attack in the very near future and are inserting propaganda into compliant media to get us ready for a bombing run by our client state.
    Reuters is just one outlet used today:
    Iran can make fissile material for a bomb ‘in about 12 days’ – U.S. official

    1. Maybe, on the other hand just last Sunday our government plainly stated that there is no Iranian nuclear weapons program. Which is either a very odd slip-up or an attempt to remove the major justification for attacking Iran. It would fit right up there with other whoppers like Iraqi WMD should a disastrous expensive war result. I bet the Chinese are going to back the Iranians

      1. “Are”?
        They are already Iran’s biggest trading partner by far today with Japan a distant second.
        But I’m sure it is all cell phones and laptops…..

    1. Yes, but that’s an up-to-a-point type thing. Israel/Washington wants to destroy Iran. Washington is afraid, and needs a proxy for the job; but, Israel is no Ukraine. Despite all the Hollywood bluster each is willing to fight only defenseless people.

    2. I wouldn’t go that far. The U.S. ruling class controls the U.S. I fully agree that Zionists have far too much influence, and even actual power in some instances, but there are many important things here that they do not control.

  3. Such glaring hypocrisy is indicative of a profoundly corrupt system. The other so called journalists should just slink out of the room. And Sam Husseini needs to be the inaugural recipient of the “Stick it to the Man Excellence in Journalism Award”.

  4. I wonder why nobody or group in the US has sued the government for sending money and weapons to Israel against the law. This is very clearcut. Additionally, Israel has intercontinental missiles, who do they want to attack with that?

    1. Because the ‘law’ only is binding on the State’s subject chattel and doesn’t apply to them. This is what primarily distinguishes a ‘ruler’ from a ‘representative’ or a ‘leader’.

  5. Countries with nuclear weapons telling other countries that they can’t have nuclear weapons also is the height of hypocrisy. What these nuclear-armed countries should be doing is getting rid of their own nuclear weapons. Then they could legitimately tell the rest of the world that they can’t have nukes either.

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