Powell discusses secret Israeli nukes in leaked email: report
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Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said in a leaked private email exchange that Israel has about 200 nuclear warheads targeting Tehran, the Associated Press reported.


The email conversation took place in 2015 amid Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to a joint session of Congress.

"Iranians can't use [a nuclear weapon] if they finally make one," Powell wrote to Democratic donor Jeffrey Leeds, according to the AP. "The boys in Tehran know Israel has 200, all targeted on Tehran, and we have thousands."

Israel has never acknowledged having a nuclear arsenal, and U.S. government officials do not openly discuss it. But former President Jimmy Carter has said Israel has between 150 and 300 warheads.

Powell has denied leaking any classified information in the email, telling AP through a spokesperson that the email was referring to public estimates.

"Gen. Powell has not been briefed or had any knowledge from U.S. sources on the existence and or size of an Israeli nuclear capability," the statement said.

"He like many people believe that there may be a capability and the number 200 has been speculated upon in open sources. This email was written 10 years after he left government and has not received briefings on classified matters," the statement added.