TEHRAN, Iran, AP – The Iranian parliament threatened Sunday to force the government to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty if the United States continues pressuring Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment.
In a letter to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan read on state-run radio, the lawmakers said they would consider forcing the withdrawal if “the U.N. Secretary General and other members of the U.N. Security Council fail in their crucial responsibility to resolve differences peacefully.”
The legislators said they would have no choice but to “review Article 10 of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.” The article allows signatories to pull out of the treaty if they decide that extraordinary events have jeopardized the supreme interests of its country. A withdrawing nation must give fellow treaty signers and the U.N. three months notice and detail the events that have forced the decision to pullout of the agreement.
North Korea withdrew from the treaty in 2003 on that basis.
Parliament also threatened to ask the government to withdraw its signature of the Additional Protocol to the NPT that allows unannounced inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Iran already halted such inspections in January after being referred to the U.N. Security Council. It recently offered to allow them if the Security Council left the dispute to the U.N. nuclear monitor, the International Atomic Energy Agency.The United States rejected the offer.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi insisted Sunday that there was nothing the international community could do to force Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, declaring that “intervention by the Security Council in this issue is completely illegal.”
The United States France and Britain, which are sponsoring a draft resolution that would make U.N. demands that Iran stop uranium enrichment mandatory, “have political motivations,” Asefi said.
“Intervention by the U.N. Security Council would change the path of cooperation to confrontation. We recommend they do not do this,” Asefi said.