Iran threatens to quit NPT if US scraps nuke deal

Tehran: A senior Iranian security official said on Tuesday that his country would consider withdrawing from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if the US scraps the 2015 nuclear deal, Tehran Times reported.

“According to the NPT, the (contracting) countries can easily withdraw from the treaty if they realize that it does not benefit them and this is a possible option for the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.

Shamkhani made the remarks at a press conference before his departure to Russia’s Sochi to attend an international security conference.

Iran has not benefited from the fruits of the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which went into effect in January 2016, he said.

“The other side (the United States) has been creating obstructions since the day of implementation of the agreement,” the Iranian official added.

He also highlighted Iran’s capability of “resuming nuclear activities,” saying his country will take “surprising actions” if the nuclear deal is sabotaged.

US President Donald Trump is expected to decide by May 12 whether to pull the US out of the nuclear deal reached between Iran and six major world powers in 2015.

Trump, however, has said he would not extend the waiver suspending the US sanctions on Iran. The US President has repeatedly criticized the landmark nuclear pact in which the West promised to relieve sanctions on Tehran in exchange for a halt in Iran’s efforts to develop a nuclear weapon.