TEHRAN, (Reuters) – Iran may reconsider its membership of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if it feels its enemies are using the accord to put unfair pressure on it, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday.
“The Islamic Republic’s policy has been to follow its nuclear efforts in the framework of the (International Atomic Energy) Agency and the NPT,” he told a huge crowd on the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution.
“However, if we find out they are going to take advantage of these regulations to destroy the rights of the Iranian people, you should know that the Iranian nation will reconsider its policy,” he added.
Western nations have successfully pushed for Iran to be reported to the U.N. Security Council for failing to convince the world its atomic scientists are working exclusively on power stations and not bombs.
The crowd voiced its approval of Ahmadinejad’s remarks with chants of “Nuclear technology is our inalienable right”.
But the president said Iran was not going to make a sudden withdrawal from the NPT, as North Korea did.
“We would still like to be patient, so do not try to wear down our patience,” he said.
Russia and Iran will hold talks next week to see if any headway can be made on a Russian proposal that Moscow should enrich Tehran’s uranium, thereby allaying fears that atomic fuel could be diverted for use in weapons.
But Ahmadinejad strongly suggested such proposals were not workable.
“You are telling us not to produce our nuclear fuel and that you are going to produce it somewhere else instead and then give it back to us. Wow. Do you think we believe you?” he said.
“You have deprived our country of spare parts for passenger planes for 27 years. What’s the guarantee you will provide our nuclear fuel tomorrow?” he added.
The president also adopted a defiant stance in the face of economic sanctions which the United Nations Security Council could impose on Iran.
“They will not sell us things. Very well then, don’t. The young people here have attained technology on nuclear power and stem cells with their bare hands. So they will be definitely be able to provide their own daily requirements.”