TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Referring to recent statistics released by a Stockholm-based research institute, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said proven nuclear warheads stationed in the Middle East are entirely owned by the Zionist regime of Israel.

In a message in Twitter, Zarif took a swipe at the Israeli regime for “howling incessantly” about Iran’s activities, while the regime itself owns all the 80 nuclear warheads in the Middle East.

“There are at least 80 nuclear warheads stationed in the Middle East. None are in Iran; rather, they're at the fingertips of a warmonger who howls incessantly about fabricated Iranian “ambitions”. Time for an overdue debate on the real threat to the region and beyond,” the Iranian diplomat tweeted, citing figures released by the SIPRI, an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.

The Islamic Republic has been a major proponent of a nuclear-weapons-free Middle East whose efforts and those of other regional countries have been hampered by Israel, which is thought to be in possession of a sizeable nuclear weapons arsenal.

Israel is believed to possess anywhere from 75 to as many as 400 nuclear weapons, including thermonuclear weapons in the megaton range. Israel has never confirmed or denied being in possession of the arms in line with its policy of “nuclear ambiguity”.