TEHRAN, Sep. 16 (MNA) – In an estimation provided by U.S. experts, it has been assessed that the Zionist regime possesses a stockpile of 80 nuclear warheads, all of which were produced by 2004, when Israel froze all production, the Times of Israel reported
The assessment by U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency figures was included in the September/October issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists which was published over the weekend.
In 1999, Israel had 70 warheads, they estimated.
According to the report, the Zionist regime began to produce nuclear warheads in 1967 and gradually built up its arsenal, producing between two and three warheads each year until it amassed 80 warheads in 2004.The report did not say why Israel had ceased production, although it noted that the Jewish state is estimated to have produced enough fissile material for 115 to 190 warheads.
Israel has a policy of nuclear ambiguity, and is widely assumed by the international community to possess nuclear weapons. Israeli leaders have declined to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was blasted for a 2006 statement indicating that Israel does have nuclear weapons.
United States President Barack Obama came close to challenging Israel’s policy of ambiguity in 2010.
Previous estimates have put the number of warheads in Israel’s possession at up to 400. According to foreign reports, Israel’s military has the capacity to deliver a nuclear payload via a variety of methods, including ballistic missiles, aircraft, and submarine-launched cruise missiles.
The 80-warhead figure was cited in June in a 2013 yearbook put out by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a leading think tank on global security issues.
Of those warheads, 50 are for medium-range ballistic missiles and 30 are for bombs carried by aircraft, the report said. In addition, “Israel may also have produced non-strategic nuclear weapons, including artillery shells and atomic demolition munitions,” the Guardian reported.
In 1986, based on information supplied by ex-Dimona nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu, later convicted of treason, the Sunday Times of London estimated that Israel had produced more than 100 nuclear warheads.
A 2009 report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies put Israel’s nuclear arsenal at anywhere from 70 to 400 warheads.
In April 2013, an Arms Control Association report estimated the size of Israel’s alleged nuclear arsenal at 75 to 200 warheads.
According to the new report, despite conducting several tests North Korea has yet to develop a serviceable atomic warhead. The report put the number of nuclear warheads in the hands of world powers, in descending order, at 4,650 possessed by the U.S., 4,480 by Russia, 300 by France, 250 by China, 225 by the UK, 120 by Pakistan, 110 by India, and 80 by Israel.
The total number of serviceable atomic warheads in the world is 10,215, the report said, down from as high as 64,449 at the height of the Cold War in 1986.