Probe needed to verify US warhead claims: Iran

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 4, 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 4, 2010 - 18:05

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