With the 2015 Iran nuclear deal now unraveling given the move by the UK, Germany, and France to trigger the dispute resolution mechanism which will ultimately lead to the next step of EU nations filing complaint with the UN Security Council that Iran is in violation, Iran’s participation in yet another historic treaty is on the chopping block.
Iran is now threatening to withdraw from the landmark Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), which since taking effect in 1970 (after initiating in 1968) is recognized as the only binding international treaty whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, while promoting peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif announced to Iranian lawmakers Monday: “If Europeans continue their untenable conduct or send Iran’s nuclear case to the United Nations Security Council, we will withdraw from the N.P.T.,” according to state media.
Prior to Zarif’s statement Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi vowed that Iran is planning “one last step” in drawing down its commitment to the JCPOA which is to ultimately have “more effective consequences”. Many have taken this to mean the Obama-brokered deal is now all but dead, especially following the Jan.6 declaration in the wake of the Qassem Soleimani killing that Iran no longer accepts limits on uranium enrichment.
In a televised address to the nation last Thursday President Hassan Rouhani Rouhani reaffirmed that “no restrictions on nuclear energy” remain and that Iran is “better off in terms of nuclear power.” He claimed further that:
“We are enriching more uranium [than] before the deal was reached… Pressure has increased on Iran but we continue to progress.”
But he also left an opening for dialogue, emphasizing that the process remains reversible at this point, but only if Europe takes specific immediate action to allow the Islamic Republic to export its oil.
Adding fuel to the fire, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had responded to last week’s development’s by suggesting a new deal brokered with the Trump administration: “If we’re going to get rid of it, let’s replace it and let’s replace it with the Trump deal.”
This reportedly infuriated leaders in Tehran, who’ve repeatedly rebuffed past White House suggestions to scrap the 2015 deal altogether and start afresh with direct talks.