WASHINGTON - Newly declassified CIA documents show U.S. intelligence believed Israel had a small number of nuclear weapons in 1974, Haaretz reported Friday.
"Israel already has produced nuclear weapons," the documents said, citing "Israeli acquisition of large quantities of uranium" and the country's major acquisitions of Jericho surface-to-surface missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
The report said it was unlikely Israel would admit to having, or threaten to use nuclear weapons unless faced with a grave threat, the newspaper said.
The U.S. intelligence report also alleged Israel had provided nuclear materials, equipment or technology to Iran, South Africa and other then-friendly countries, and "probably will prove susceptible to the hue of economic and political advantages to be gained from exporting materials, technology and equipment relevant to nuclear weapons programs."
Haaretz questioned the timing of the release of the information while U.S. President George Bush was in Israel on a peace-making visit, and said the CIA didn't respond to e-mail queries.
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