Iran Nuclear NewsIran guarded on quitting NPT over atomic pressure

Iran guarded on quitting NPT over atomic pressure

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Reuters: Iran responded cautiously on Sunday to suggestions it would follow North Korea out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if the U.N. Security Council passed a tough resolution against its atomic work. TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran responded cautiously on Sunday to suggestions it would follow North Korea out of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if the U.N. Security Council passed a tough resolution against its atomic work.

Leading Iranian parliamentarians have said they would table a bill calling for Tehran to quit the treaty if the world body tries to deprive Iran of a fuel cycle they argue is needed solely to run power stations.

The West accuses Tehran of enriching uranium to use in nuclear warheads and is pushing for a tough Security Council resolution against Iran that demands an immediate end to enrichment and contains a threat of sanctions.

When asked whether Iran could respond to such moves by quitting the NPT, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said: “We do not predict or prejudge anything. We will react proportionally to what the other party does”.

Political analysts say Iran would inflame the nuclear dispute by quitting the NPT, spurring further suspicions it is working on arms.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said earlier this year Iran could reconsider its membership of the treaty if it felt under undue pressure.

By passing a bill demanding Tehran quit the treaty, parliament would provide Ahmadinejad’s government with a legal framework in which they would be obliged to pull out.

Parliament Speaker Gholamali Haddadadel also remained vague about whether quitting the NPT would be Iran’s response.

“If in the future it becomes clear they intend to humiliate the great nation of Iran on the nuclear issue or that its rights will be ignored, be sure that parliament will take measures to preserve the nation’s rights,” he said.

The permanent members of the U.N. Security Council are still wrangling over the text of the draft resolution, with Russia and China opposing the use of sanctions.

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