The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Israel appears to have admitted that it possesses nuclear weapons and is prepared to use them.
Russian officials joined other countries in expressing their concern over the statements of the Israeli Minister of State, who appeared to express openness to the idea of Israel carrying out a nuclear strike on Gaza, saying that it raised “a large number of questions.”
Moscow’s reaction on Tuesday came days after Heritage Minister Amihai Eliyahu said during a radio interview that a nuclear option would be “one way” to deal with Gaza, implying that Israel not only possesses nuclear weapons – something the country has never acknowledged – But she’s also willing to use it.
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suspended the minister from a far-right party in the coalition government and from Cabinet meetings “until further notice.”
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said the main issue was that Israel had apparently admitted it had nuclear weapons.
“Question number one – it turns out we are hearing official statements about the existence of nuclear weapons?” The Russian Information Agency quoted Zakharova as saying.
She said, “If that is the case, where are the International Atomic Energy Agency and the international nuclear inspectors?”
The Federation of American Scientists estimates that Israel possesses about 90 nuclear warheads.
On Monday, the United States denounced Eliyahu’s statements, describing them as “completely unacceptable.”
“We continue to believe that it is important for all parties to this conflict to refrain from hate speech,” Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman Vedant Patil said at a press conference.
These statements sparked condemnation from all over the Arab world and Iran called for a rapid international response.
“The UN Security Council and the International Atomic Energy Agency must take immediate and uninterrupted action to disarm this barbaric and apartheid regime,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said on social media on Monday. “Late tomorrow,” he posted on X.
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