Iran on Monday reportedly threatened to quit a global non-proliferation treaty if European countries refer Tehran to the U.N. Security Council over alleged violations of a 2015 nuclear agreement.
“If the Europeans continue their improper behavior or send Iran’s file to the Security Council, we will withdraw from the [Non-Proliferation Treaty],” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said, according to Reuters, which cited Zarif’s comments carried by the state’s IRNA news agency.
Britain, France and Germany declared Iran in violation of the 2015 nuclear pact, which President Trump withdrew the U.S. from in 2018, and moved to formally sanction Iran. They could refer the matter back to the Security Council and U.N. sanctions could be reimposed, Reuters noted.
The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), signed in 1968, has been the basis of global nuclear arms control since the Cold War. North Korea is the only country to have withdrawn from the NPT, which bans its 190 signatories from acquiring nuclear weapons in return for allowing them to pursue peaceful nuclear power programs.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi, however, signaled on Monday the country may be willing to negotiate, just not under “the conditions” the European countries “have in mind.”
“Despite the ill will that we see from some European countries, the door of negotiations with them has not been closed and the ball is in the court of these countries,” Mousavi said, according to Reuters.
But, according to Reuters, he also said at a news conference: “I don’t think Iran is ready to negotiate under the conditions they have in mind.”
Iran announced it was ending its commitment to the 2015 nuclear pact after Trump ordered a drone attack in Baghdad that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.