Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega on Tuesday said Israel could promote peace in the Middle East by eliminating its nuclear arsenal, Reuters reported (see GSN, Dec. 1, 2011).
"Simply by starting to push for talks in the region in which the steps are laid down for Israel to give up and destroy these nuclear arms, I'm certain this would bring about great peace in the region," Ortega said in a speech following his swearing-in event for a second successive term as leader of the Central American state.
Israel is widely assumed to possess nuclear weapons, but publicly neither confirms nor denies the existence of the stockpile. It instead has sought to turn the spotlight on Iranian atomic activities that are suspected in Jerusalem, Washington and other capitals of being aimed at giving Tehran a nuclear-weapon capability (see related GSN story, today).
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was present at the inauguration event.
Western nations are leaning on an Iranian atomic program that has no military intent while giving a pass to states that hold nuclear weapons, Ortega asserted.
"Christ never said: Israel arm yourself, arm yourself to the teeth," he said (Reuters/Jerusalem Post, Jan. 11)