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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • May 01, 1961

    Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Philips Talbot to Secretary of State, 'Ben--Gurion Visit and Israel’s Reactor'

    Ambassador Harman requests that the US visit to Dimona be delayed until after Prime Minister Ben-Gurion and President Kennedy meet in New York on May 30th.

  • May 05, 1961

    Memorandum by Secretary of State Rusk to President Kennedy, 'Visit to Israeli Reactor'

    The Israeli Embassy has confirmed the visit by two American observers to the Dimona nuclear facility for May 18.

  • May 15, 1961

    Director of the Office of Near Eastern Affairs Robert C. Strong to Armin H. Meyer, 'Suggested Points to be Made to U.S. Scientists, Dr. Staebler and Dr. Croach, at the Meeting at 2:30 p.m., May 15'

    Instructions for the two US observers visiting the Israeli nuclear facility at Dimona.

  • May 16, 1961

    Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Atomic Energy and Outer Space Philip J. Farley, Memorandum of Conversation, 'Israeli Atomic Energy Program'

    Farley reports on a conversation with Mordechai Gazit regarding the American visit to Dimona and the purposes of the visit.

  • May 18, 1961

    Memorandum, by L.D. Battle, Executive Secretary, to McGeorge Bundy, Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, 'American Scientists’ Visit to Israel’s Dimona Reactor'

    President Kennedy told the new US ambassador to Israel, Walworth Barbour, that he was concerned about Israel’s insistence on a secret visit as well as the "absence of a 'neutral' scientist" in the visit to Dimona. The State Department took the position that it was better to put up with Ben-Gurion’s "sensitivities" about secrecy than "have no visit" at all

  • May 26, 1961

    Memorandum from Executive Secretary L. D. Battle to McGeorge Bundy, 'U.S. Scientists Visit to Israel’s Nuclear Reactor'

    During their visit to Israel (May 17-May 22), AEC scientists Croach and Staebler visited the Weizman Institute, the Technion, the USAEC-funded swimming pool experimental reactor at Soreq, and finally the Dimona complex then under construction. When Croach and Staebler met with State Department officials on their return, they said that they were "satisfied" that the reactor was "of the scope and peaceful character" claimed by Israeli officials.

  • May 29, 1961

    Department of State Briefing Book, 'Israel Prime Minister Ben-Gurion’s Visit to the United States'

    Preparatory materials for Ben-Guiron's visit.

  • May 30, 1961

    Memorandum of Conversation, 'President Kennedy, Prime Minister Ben-Gurion, Ambassador Avraham Harman of Israel, Myer Feldman of the White House Staff, and Philips Talbot, Assistant Secretary, Near East and South Asian Affairs'

    US memorandum of conversation of Prime Minister Ben-Gurion and President Kennedy's discussion in New York.

  • May 31, 1961

    State Department Telegram 5701 to U.S. Embassy United Kingdom

    British Embassy was informed about the contents of President Kennedy's discussion with Ben-Gurion on the Dimona reactor.

  • June 07, 1961

    Ambassador Harman’s Record of Ben-Gurion/Kennedy Meeting, with attachment on the 'Atomic Reactor' (and transcript), sent with cover letter by Mordechai Gazit to Israeli Foreign Ministry

    Israeli record of conversation between Prime Minister Ben-Gurion and President Kennedy in New York.

  • June 07, 1961

    Atomic Energy Commission AEC 928/1, 'Visit to Israel by U.M. Staebler and J.W. Croach, Jr.'

    Summary of a visit by AEC scientists U. M. Staebler and J. W. Croach, Jr., to nuclear facilities in Israel, including the Dimona reactor.

  • June 09, 1961

    Memorandum by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East and South Asian Affairs Armin H. Meyer of White House Discussion on Ben-Gurion/Kennedy Meeting

    Notes from Meyer on the Ben-Gurion/Kennedy meeting in New York.

  • June 16, 1961

    Department of State Memorandum of Conversation, 'The Dimona Reactor'

    The State Department made plans to brief Arab governments on the US visit to Dimona, but Deputy Assistant Secretary Armin Meyer asked Ambassador Harman if his government would be willing to work with US representatives at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting to make an announcement of the visit to Dimona and also to undertake quiet discussions at the meeting about a possible neutral visit to Dimona. Harman, however, objected to an IAEA role in the Dimona matter until the rest of the world had accepted the idea of inspections and he wanted Washington to coordinate any visit by neutral scientists.

  • June 17, 1961

    State Department Circular Telegram 2047 to US Embassy Jordan [et al.]

    Circular telegram for Middle East embassies regarding US visit to Dimona reactor.

  • October 05, 1961

    National Intelligence Estimate, NIE 35-61, 'The Outlook for Israel'

    National Intelligence Estimate on Israel concluded that "Israel may have decided to undertake a nuclear weapons program. At a minimum, we believe it has decided to develop its nuclear facilities in such a way as to put it into a position to develop nuclear weapons promptly should it decide to do."

  • November 14, 1961

    Robert C. Strong to Phillips Talbot, 'Your Appointment with Israel Ambassador Harman'

    Talbot is to raise the issue of visits by "neutral" scientists to the Dimona reactor.

  • November 14, 1961

    Department of State Memorandum of Conversation, 'Broadened Access to Israel’s Nuclear Reactor'

    Israel would prefer a visit by Scandinavian or Swiss scientists to Dimona.

  • November 15, 1961

    Letter, Howard Furnas, Office of Special Assistant to Secretary of State for Atomic Energy and Outer Space, to Dwight Ink, Atomic Energy Commission

    Furnas writes about Department of State concerns that Israel may pursue a nuclear weapons program once the Dimona reactor is in operation.

  • January 18, 1962

    Memorandum by Robert Amory, Deputy Director of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, to Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs [McGeorge Bundy]

    Heavily excised report to McGeorge Bundy from the CIA on the Israeli nuclear program and Dimona.

  • February 12, 1962

    Nicolas G. Thacher to James P. Grant, 'Your Appointment with Dennis Greenhill and Dennis Speares of the British Embassy'

    British Embassy officials raise British concerns about the Israeli nuclear facility at Dimona.