Israel is widely believed to be the sixth country in the world to develop nuclear weapons and to be one of four nuclear-armed countries not recognized as a Nuclear Weapons State by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the others being India, Pakistan and North Korea. International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei regards Israel as a state possessing nuclear weapons, but Israel maintains a policy known as "nuclear ambiguity" (also known as "nuclear opacity"). Israel has never officially admitted to having nuclear weapons, instead repeating over the years that it would not be the first country to "introduce" nuclear weapons to the Middle East, leaving ambiguous whether it means it will not create or will not use the weapons.
Israel began investigating the nuclear field just one year after its 1948 founding and with French support secretly began building a nuclear reactor and reprocessing plant in the late 1950s. Although Israel first built a nuclear weapon in 1967-68 it was not publicly confirmed from the inside until Mordechai Vanunu, a former Israeli nuclear technician, revealed details of the program to the British press in 1986. Israel is currently believed to possess between 75 and 200 nuclear warheads with the ability to deliver them by ground, aircraft, and submarine.