Iran?s threat to quit NPT
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned today the Islamic republic could quit the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if forced by the West to limit its disputed nuclear programme.Updated: Feb 12, 2006 12:44 IST
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned today the Islamic republic could quit the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if forced by the West to limit its disputed nuclear programme.
In a strongly worded speech to huge crowds marking the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, the outspoken hardliner also repeated his view that Nazi Germany’s mass killing of Jews was a ‘myth’ and argued that Palestinians and Iraqis were suffering from ‘the real holocaust’.
“Until now, the Islamic republic’s policy was to use nuclear technology for peaceful ends,” the president said, a week after Iran was reported to the UN Security Council amid fears it is seeking nuclear weapons.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has continued its nuclear drive within the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the NPT, but if we see that you want to deprive us of our right using these regulations, know that the people will revise their policy in this regard,” he said in a thinly-veiled warning.
Hundreds of thousands were out, answering a call from supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to put on a show of force in the face of mounting international pressure.
The West wants Iran to abandon uranium enrichment work, which can be extended from making reactor fuel to the fissile core of a nuclear weapon. Iran maintains that it only wants to generate electricity and that its fuel cycle work is therefore permitted by the NPT.
But the reporting of Iran to the Security Council marked a turning point in the long-running crisis by exposing the country to the danger of sanctions unless it returns to a nuclear freeze and cooperates more with the IAEA.
First Published: Feb 12, 2006 12:44 IST