Germany sells Dolphin Class subs to Israel, warns against attack on Iran
German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere shares Israel’s fear of a nuclear-armed Iran, and even though he is convinced Tehran wants nuclear weapons, he has called for caution.
In a recent report from Reuters, also referenced by alarabiya, de Maiziere stated, “Israel can be sure of German solidarity in questions of its sovereign integrity and its existence … but it is important that Israel and its partners make moves towards a solution of the Middle East conflict.”
Just this week, however, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that while sanctions were hurting Iran’s economy, it did not seem to be enough to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions. From another Reuters story, Netanyahu said the government of Iran is “having economic troubles but it has yet to move backward, even a millimeter, in its nuclear program.”
From a report in Israeli online newspaper, Haaretz states Israel’s submarine fleet has three German-made Dolphin vessels already, and the German government financed most of the costs of the first three submarines. The story attributes foreign reports that state these submarines are equipped with cruise missiles having a range of 1,500 kilometers and able to carry nuclear warheads. The new subs also possess state-of-the-art systems enabling submerssion underwater for longer periods of time.
Also mentioned is that the subs are not scheduled to be delivered to the Israeli navy until 2013 and 2014 respectively.