Erdogan says Israel’ s nuclear arsenal makes it a regional threat

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Israel is a “threat” to its region because it owns nuclear weapons, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday.

“I right now see Israel as a threat for its region, because it has the atomic bomb,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency, during an official visit to South Africa.

He also accused Israel of committing “state terrorism.”

Erdogan in the past has accused the West of “double standards” in the way that it has tried to ban Iran from building nuclear weapons without taking similar measures against Israel.

Israel has never officially admitting to possessing nuclear weapons.

Turkey downgraded relations with one time ally Israel after the latter refused to apologize for its raid on a Gaza-bound Turkish aid flotilla, in which its nine Turkish activists died on May 31, 2010.

Last month, Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador and froze military ties and defense trade deals. Ankara has also threatened to send warships to escort any Turkish vessels trying to reach Hamas-ruled Gaza.