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Iranian threat to leave NPT

IRAN’S Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said leaving the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is one of the “many options” Tehran has to retaliate against United States sanctions, state media reported on Sunday. The US has imposed a raft of sanctions against the Islamic Republic since President Donald Trump withdrew last year from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with world powers.
The statement comes in reaction to a series of anti-Iran measures being initiated by Washington despite cooperative attitude of Tehran for resolution of contentious issues. On Monday, Washington announced an end to sanction waivers for buyers of Iranian crude oil, and earlier this month the US declared Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards a “foreign terrorist organisation”. Iran has branded the US sanctions “illegal” and Zarif warned earlier that there would be consequences should Iran is barred from selling its oil. Oil sanctions would not only create enormous financial problems for Iranian government and people but also pose economic and financial challenge to a number of countries as short supply of oil to the international market would definitely mean a substantial increase in its price. Already the prices are going up and the developing countries have started feeling its pinch and there are apprehensions that the scenario would lead to reduced allocations for development by many countries. As for Iranian threat to leave NPT, it indicates that in final analysis, the United States would be loser and not gainer by increasing undue pressure on Iran on the nuclear issue. Washington’s decision to leave the nuclear accord with Iran is being viewed as unjust and unwise by members of the international community and further sanctions to squeeze the country are pushing Tehran to consider the option of leaving the NPT. Analysts point out that Iran’s exit from the pact would be hugely damaging, stressing the global non-proliferation system to its limits. Iran then might resume nuclear activities and Iranian decision could also open a floodgate of withdrawals from the NPT. Under these circumstances, the United States should not test the patience of Iran and avoid raising the spectre of some serious conflict in the region.