Israel Navy Dolphin submarine (file)
Germany and Israel have sealed the deal which provides Israel with its sixth Dolphin-class nuclear-capable submarine. Germany will subsidize the sale to the tune of 135 million euros, Der Spiegel reported Sunday.
According to the report, German Defense Minister Tomas de Maiziere met in Israel last week with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who finalized the deal with him.
The Dolphin submarine, estimated to cost about $1 billion, is capable of launching nuclear-armed ballistic missiles, which Israel is widely assumed to possess.
Iranian news agency IRNA quoted Der Spiegel in a way that showed its displeasure with it. “German taxpayers are to foot part of the bill for the highly controversial sale of a sixth submarine to Israel,” it said. “Germany is already paying one-third of the one billion euro price tag for the fourth and fifth Dolphin submarine which are currently still being built for Israel.”
There has been some haggling between Israel and Germany over the price of the submarine. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu raised the matter with Chancellor Angela Merkel when he visited Germany in April
. Israel later reportedly gave up on the chances
that Germany would subsidize the sub.
Berlin subsidized the first three submarines which it delivered to Israel in 1999 and 2000, IRNA stated. It added:
“A hardline supporter of Israel, Germany has become a major arms supplier of the illegal Jewish state despite a constitutional ban to send arms to crisis regions.
“There are no official statistics available on the sale of German weapons to Israel as almost all arms exports to the Zionist regime are shrouded in extreme secrecy.
“German arms deliveries to Israel between 1998 and 2001 reached reportedly around 900 million US dollars.”