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It asserted that Russia would consider using nuclear weapons in only two scenarios: in response to an attack involving nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction, and in response to a non-nuclear assault that endangered the survival of the Russian nation.

The US is "shamelessly threatening Russian Federation with an atomic weapon", according to Iran's President Hassan Rouhani.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was headed to Capitol Hill Tuesday to brief lawmakers on the major overhauls to US nuclear weapons and conventional strategies that have drawn criticism from Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

The document first came under fire from Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday, when he tweeted that the United States policy document posed the risk of "bringing humankind closer to annihilation." .

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Yavad Zarif warned today that the nuclear strategy recently adopted by the United States puts the world on the verge of Apocalypse.

Recall that Russia's foreign ministry said it was very disappointed by the document, which, it said, has a confrontational feel and anti-Russian orientation.

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Robert Soofer, a senior nuclear policy official at the Pentagon who helped direct the policy review, said Moscow is likely to push back on the USA plan for fielding those two additional weapons.

The Pentagon's nuclear review concluded that while arms control can advance American interests, "further progress is hard to envision", in light of what the USA considers Russia's aggression in Ukraine and violations of existing arms deals.

"The problem is that the USA is fighting everybody at the same time, both in terms of trade, NAFTA, and strategy and nuclear ambitions", he said.

Historically a close U.S. ally and key North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member, nuclear weapons were a divisive issue in Germany's cold war politics.

The issue has been rediscovered by politicians in the wake of Trump's election. Trump did not re-certify the deal, but extended sanctions waivers, and said he would not do so again the next time they come up for renewal, in May, unless his concerns are addressed. "Trump's obduracy in killing the #JCPOA stems from the same unsafe imprudence", wrote Zarif, who was the chief negotiator in the discussions between Iran and global powers.

The ultimatum put pressure on European Union powers - key backers and parties to the 2015 worldwide agreement to curb Iranian nuclear ambition.