Comments by freed nuclear spy Mordechai Vanunu that Israel was behind the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy failed to bring smiles to government officials Sunday.
One would expect that such claims would portray Vanunu as a man with a credibility problem, but as far as the defense establishment is concern, the former nuclear technician still has secrets to reveal and a declared goal of ending Israel's nuclear program. He shouldn't be talking to the media and is actually barred from meeting with foreigners.
Nevertheless, the London-base al-Hayat published Sunday an interview is claims it had with Vanunu.
According to the interview which appeared in its Arabic supplement Al-Wassat, Vanunu said that according to "near-certain indications", Kennedy was assassinated due to "pressure he exerted on then head of government, David Ben-Gurion, to shed light on Dimona's nuclear reactor."
"We do not know which irresponsible Israeli prime minister will take office and decide to use nuclear weapons in the struggle against neighboring Arab countries," Vanunu was quoted as saying. "What has already been exposed about the weapons Israel is holding can destroy the region and kill millions."
Vanunu also said that the reactor in Dimona, where he worked, could become a second "Chernobyl."
He said that an earthquake could cause fissures to the core and that would cause a massive radiation leak threatening millions.
Vanunu warned that Jordan should test the residents along the border with Israel for exposure to radiation and give them pills just like Israel decided to do for its citizens.
Vanunu also criticized the visit to Israel early this month by the head of the Atomic Energy Agency, Mohammed el-Baradei.
"He (Baradei) should have refused to have visited Israel (because) he was not allowed to inspect the nuclear reactor," Vanunu said.
According to al-Hayat, Vanunu now lives "with his Palestinian friends" in east Jerusalem.
It was not clear how al-Hayat did the interview, which the publication claimed with the first Vanunu has granted to a newspaper since his release from Ashkelon prison last April.
Vanunu has been barred from granting interviews to foreign media.
But until now, no steps were being planned against Vanunu.