Iran has threatened to withdraw from the international nuclear non-proliferation treaty and demanded that Europe come up with an “economic package” to compensate for Washington’s decision to pull out of the atomic deal Tehran signed with world powers. The Islamic republic could exit the near-50-year-old NPT — the only binding multilateral treaty aimed at achieving disarmament by nuclear-armed states — should hardline forces in Tehran prevail, a senior Iranian official told the Financial Times.
The warning highlights mounting pressure on European-led efforts to save the nuclear deal— known as the JCPOA — that Tehran signed in 2015 with the US, Russia, China, France, Germany, the EU and the UK. The official made the comments as Iran and the remaining signatories met in Vienna on Friday, the first such gathering without the US. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal this month meant “all options are on the table” for Iran should Tehran decide the accord was no longer viable, the Iranian official said.
It was “unfortunate” that those in Iran arguing for a radical response were “getting stronger”, he said, in a reference to hardliners who opposed the original decision by President Hassan Rouhani’s administration to sign the deal. “The easiest [option] is for Iran just to pull out [of the JCPOA], and then we will have the situation we had in 2014,” the official added. “The other solution that some actually promote is for Iran to go out of the NPT, or at least reconsider and revisit our nuclear doctrine. Because the way we [tried] was not successful.”