Russia, which is helping Iran develop nuclear power, has more nuclear warheads than any country in the world, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s annual report released Monday.
Worldwide, there are an estimated 19,000 nuclear warheads held by eight countries. The list of countries includes Israel, which the Institute estimates has 80 nuclear warheads. Israel officially has a policy of “nuclear ambiguity” but is assumed by most everyone to have manufactured nuclear warheads. Previous estimates have been around 200.
The United States has the second largest nuclear arsenal, with 8,000 nuclear warheads. Both superpowers possess more than 90 percent of the worlds nuclear weapons, France is estimated to possess 300, followed by China with 240, Britain with 225, and India and Pakistan with around 100 each.
The United States and Russia each have reduced their number of warheads by approximately 6 and 10 percent respectively.
North Korea was not included on the list although it has conducted nuclear tests. It claims that is has operational nuclear weapons.
On the same day the Stockholm report was released, American officials said at the Arms Control Association Annual Meeting in Washington, "Beyond responsibly reducing the number of nuclear weapons, the Obama Administration has been committed to reducing their role in our national security strategy as well. We are not developing new nuclear weapons; we are not pursuing new nuclear missions.”
US Acting Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Rose Gottemoeller was quoted by RTT News as saying, “We are working toward creating the conditions to make deterring nuclear use the sole purpose of our nuclear weapons.”