Clinton, Pentagon Reveal State Secret: Size of U.S. Nuclear Arsenal

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says U.S., not Iran, is nuclear worry.

ByABC News
May 3, 2010, 11:10 AM

May 3, 2010 — -- The United States today for the first time since 1962 disclosed the size of its nuclear arsenal in what officials described as an as an unprecedented unveiling of a state secret and an attempt to encourage other countries to be open about their nuclear capabilities.

The Pentagon announced the U.S. currently has 5,113 nuclear warheads in its stockpile – an 84 percent reduction from a peak of 31,255 warheads in 1967.

"For those who doubt that the United States will do its part on disarmament, this is our record, these are our commitments, and they send a clear, unmistakable signal," said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before the U.N.'s conference on the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

Her comments were a direct rebuke to those made earlier today by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said the U.S. has not met its non-proliferation commitments and uses nuclear weapons to threaten other countries.

"This morning, Iran's president offered the same tired, false and sometimes wild accusations against the United States and other parties at this conference," Clinton said. "That's not surprising… Iran will do whatever it can to divert attention away from its own record and to attempt to evade accountability."

The Iranian president denied in an address to the conference attendees that his country's nuclear program poses a threat to world security, saying that reports his country is producing nuclear weapons are based on "not a single credible proof."

He later prompted a walk out by delegations from the U.S., Great Britain and France, saying, "Regrettably the United States has not only used nuclear weapons but also continues to threaten to use such weapons against other countries including my country."

Last month, President Obama revealed the Nuclear Policy Review which vowed that the U.S. would not use nuclear weapons to attack any country. The policy included a caveat that said exceptions will be made for nations -- such as Iran -- that do not comply with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

A senior Defense official said that with today's release of what is normally a closely guarded state secret, "the United States will set a standard for declassification of this information."