Probe needed to verify US warhead claims: Iran
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Last Updated: Tuesday, May 04, 2010, 18:05
  
Tehran: Iran called on Tuesday for independent verification of US claims it has pared its stockpile of nuclear warheads back to 5,113 and queried whether Washington was justified in holding such a lethal load.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast also dismissed US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's criticism of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech yesterday on the opening day of the Non-Proliferation Treaty conference.

"Is possessing 5,000 atomic weapons justified? How can you justify possessing such a number of weapons which threaten world security?", Mehmanparast said at his weekly press conference.

"An independent probe is needed to verify the number of US nuclear warheads. A team of independent countries must be allowed to check whether (the number) is right or not," he said, implicitly casting doubt on figures revealed by Pentagon yesterday.

The Pentagon said it has a total of 5,113 nuclear warheads in its stockpile as of September 30, 2009.

The figure represented an 84 per cent reduction from the arsenal at its peak of 31,255 in 1967 during the Cold War, and a 75 per cent reduction from late 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, May 04, 2010, 18:05


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