More than 20,500 nuclear warheads are in possession of eight nuclear states including "Israel", of which 5,000 are ready for instant use, said a Swedish Think Tank report on Tuesday.
"Eight states-the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan and "Israel"-possess more than 20,500 nuclear weapons. More than 5000 of these nuclear weapons are deployed and ready for use, including nearly 2000 that are kept in a state of high operational alert," said the annual report Press Release published by the the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The Think Tank added that the number is 2,000 fewer than in year 2009.
"The nuclear weapons states are modernizing and are investing in their nuclear weapon establishments, so it seems unlikely that there will be any real nuclear weapon disarmament within the foreseeable future," SIPRI Deputy Director Daniel Nord said, reported the Associated Press on Tuesday.
Nord added that Washington plans to invest $92 billion to expand its nuclear arsenal in the next 10 years.
SIPRI also warned against a nuclear race between India and Pakistan, saying the two neighboring rivals are continuing to expand their nuclear weapons capacity. Moreover, Nord expressed concerns over speculations of possible military attacks by the US or "Israel" against Iran's civilian nuclear sites.
"The risk is not that Iran will use nuclear weapons," he emphasized, but rather "what will be the consequences when the concerned states like "Israel" or the United States decide that they will have to intervene and do something about the program in Iran."
"Israel", widely believed to be the sole possessor of a nuclear arsenal in the Middle East with over 200 undeclared nuclear warheads, pursues a policy of "deliberate ambiguity" on its nuclear program. This takes place while Iran says its nuclear program is entirely peaceful and within the framework of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT), to which it is a signatory.
Tel Aviv on its part has rejected global demands to join the NPT and does not allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors to observe its controversial nuclear program.