Tuesday, June 7, 2011

30 years ago: Israel bombs Iraq's nuclear reactor

On June 7, 1981, Israeli planes bombed a French-made nuclear reactor near Baghdad. The Israeli government of Prime Minister Menachem Begin believed the reactor was being used to build bombs for the purpose of attacking Israel. The strike was the first air strike against a nuclear plant.

The Israeli raid was largely condemned at the time by "world opinion," but 10 years later, after Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's forces had invaded and occupied Kuwait before being beaten back in the Gulf War, Israel's action in 1981 seemed very prudent indeed.

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