The US government issued the medium to long-term nuclear strategy on Friday.
The latest Nuclear Posture Review published by the Pentagon called for a larger arsenal of smaller, low-yield nuclear weapons to act as a more "credible" deterrent to threats, particularly from Russian Federation.
Asking the U.S. to discard its "cold- war mentality" and take a fair view on China's military development, Beijing on Sunday criticised a Pentagon report that cast the Communist giant as "a major challenge" to America's interests in Asia.
"The US Nuclear Posture Review reflects greater reliance on nukes in violation of the #NPT, bringing humankind closer to annihilation", Zarif said on the social network.
Low-yield weapons are smaller, less powerful bombs with a strength below 20 kilotonnes.
The policy also recommends: Land-based ballistic missiles, submarine-launched missiles, and air-delivered weapons-to be extensively modernized, as begun under ex-President Obama.
"Expanding flexible US nuclear options now, to include low-yield options, is important for the preservation of credible deterrence against regional aggression", the report says.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed "deep disappointment" at the plan. Bringing back sea-based nuclear missiles.
In an introductory statement, Mattis said, "We must look reality in the eye and see the world as it is, not as we wish it to be.in no way does this approach lower the nuclear threshold".
The Pentagon document, which is largely in line with the previous review in 2010, said the U.S. would modify a small number of submarine-launched ballistic missile warheads with low-yield options. It says Russian Federation and China are rapidly modernizing their nuclear capabilities.
The Chinese defence ministry said: "We hope that the United States will abandon its Cold War mentality, earnestly assume its special disarmament responsibilities, correctly understand China's strategic intentions and objectively view China's national defence and military build-up". Late a year ago it denounced Washington's updated defence strategy and urged the U.S. to abandon "outdated notions".
As the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to unveil its review of the U.S. nuclear posture, more experts are warning that developing a new type of nuclear weapon to meet President Donald Trump's demands would trigger an arms race.