June 3, 2012, in the Sunday edition of the German Der Spiegel, the Editor in Chief Georg Mascolo wrote that “months-long research proves that the submarines Germany supplies to the Israeli navy make use of equipment capable of carrying nuclear weapons;” the article claims that this was confirmed by German officials.
This statement contradicts earlier remarks by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said that the vessels cannot carry nuclear weapons. The contradicting statements apparently damage Germany’s position.
Yet, an important clue explaining the contradiction was hidden in the article. Der Spiegel disclosed that Germany is conducting negotiations with Pakistan over the sale of nuclear submarines. This means that the German interest is now to change the public status of these submarines.
Apparently the time for the signature of the agreement with Pakistan is approaching. Keeping the nuclear capabilities of these submarines secret once another country purchases them would have been practically impossible; especially when the two countries purchasing them are not in friendly terms.
Germany probably chose the timing of this disclosure as an answer to Israel’s recent purposeful insults towards Germany (see Germany’s Humiliation). In any case, a new front is being opened in the Middle East, this one certified as being the quietest of all. German Dolphin-class subs are even quieter than nuclear-propelled submarines.