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Israel Denies Offering Nuclear Warheads to South Africa in 1975

Israeli President Shimon Peres has strongly denied a report that he offered nuclear warheads to the white minority South African government in 1975 when he was the Israeli defense minister.

In a statement Monday, Mr. Peres said "there exists no basis in reality for the claims published" by the British newspaper, The Guardian.

Mr. Peres said The Guardian wrote its article based on the "selective interpretation of South African documents and not on concrete facts."

The report published Sunday quoted newly released South African documents about top secret meetings in which Mr. Peres allegedly offered the warheads to South African officials in 1975.

Israel has never confirmed or denied the widely held belief that it has nuclear weapons. South Africa developed nuclear weapons during white minority rule, but dismantled its nuclear program in 1991.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.