The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in a report that despite maintaining a long-term policy of not commenting on its nuclear arsenal, Israel is believed to own between 80 and 90 nuclear warheads.
By the start of 2019, nine countries, namely the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea possessed as many as 13,865 nuclear heads, of which 3,750 are operational and an estimated 2,000 are being kept in a state of alert, the report added.
The figures represent a decrease from the figures of 2018 when the institute estimated the number of warheads to be around 14,465 is due in large part to Russia and the US reducing their arsenals in line with the 2010 Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START) while also making unilateral reductions.
Both countries collectively own more than 90 per cent of all nuclear weapons, the report said.
SIPRI’s figures come as Israel launches a strong campaign against Iran’s nuclear capability.
In September 2018, Director General of Israel Atomic Energy Commission Zeev Snir said that Tel Aviv would develop and fortify its nuclear facilities in response to Iranian threats.