Sunday, May 07, 2006
By ALI AKBAR DAREINI, Associated Press Writer -- Sunday, 1 hour, 36 minutes ago
TEHRAN, Iran - 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.
John Bolton, United States Ambassador to the U.N., right, talks to the media after an informal meeting of the members of U.N. Security Council at the offices of the British Mission to United Nations in New York to discuss the Iranian nuclear program Saturday. (AP Photo/David Karp)
In a letter to U.N. Secretary Generalread on state-run radio, the lawmakers said they would consider forcing the withdrawal if "the U.N. Secretary General and other members of the 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.
withdrew from the treaty in 2003 on that basis.
Ambassador Bolton dismissed the threat and said it would not deter Western nations trying to push through a new U.N. Security Council resolution to demandstop uranium enrichment.
"This is a typical Iranian threat. It shows they remain desperate to conceal that their nuclear program is in fact a weapons program," he said. "I'm confident that these statements from Iran will not deter the sponsors of the draft resolution from proceeding in the Security Council."
Iran's hard-line president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, also said the country might reconsider its membership in the NPT if pressure continues.
"If a signature on an international treaty causes the rights of a nation be violated, that nation will reconsider its decision and that treaty will be invalid," Ahmadinejad said, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.
"If they (the U.S. and its allies) want to make incorrect decisions against Iran and issue statements and resolutions, they have to know that the Iranian nation will smash their illegitimate resolutions against a wall," he added.
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