FM: If Nuclear Issue Is Sent to UN, Iran Will Pull Out of NPT

Warns Europe against 'improper behavior'

In comments to Iran’s official news agency, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif cautioned the three nations in the EU that are parties to the P5+1 nuclear deal against continuing “their improper behavior” related to Iran’s civilian nuclear program.

The EU3, Britain, France, and Germany, triggered the dispute mechanism within the deal last week. It was ultimately revealed that the US had forced them to do so, threatening to impose tariffs on European cars if they refused.

Zarif warned them against going any farther, however, particularly not sending the file on their program to the UN Security Council, saying Iran would respond by withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) outright over that.

Triggering the dispute mechanism was already problematic, as Iran was deliberately carrying out small, easily reversible violations to try to force talks on the EU3’s failure to come through with sanctions relief required under the deal. The EU has been unable to circumvent US efforts to block them trading with Iran. Both Iran and Russia warned the dispute mechanism sends them further away from a resolution of the dispute.

Until they started these technical violations, Iran was consistently in full compliance with the P5+1 nuclear deal, and has always been in compliance with the NPT. Iranian officials have ruled out ever making nuclear arms, and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has declared it religiously forbidden to do so.

Withdrawing from the NPT would almost certainly be used by the US as an excuse for a war against Iran. This makes it potentially dangerous for Zarif to declare a red line, as it would be entirely possible for the US to go back to its auto tariffs threat to try to get the EU to do exactly what it’ll take to kill both the nuclear deal and potentially, the peace.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.