February 11, 2006

Iran warns may reconsider membership of atomic NPT

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Tehran may reconsider its membership of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if it feels its enemies are using the accord to put unfair pressure on Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday.

"The Islamic Republic's policy has been to follow its nuclear efforts in the framework of the (International Atomic Energy) Agency and the NPT," he told a huge crowd on the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution.

"However, if we find out they are going to take advantage of these regulations to destroy the rights of the Iranian people, you should know that the Iranian nation will reconsider its policy," he added.

Western nations have successfully pushed for Iran to be reported to the U.N. Security Council for failing to convince the world its atomic scientists are working on exclusively on power stations, and not on bombs.

The crowd voiced its approval of Ahmadinejad's remarks with chants of "Nuclear technology is our inalienable right."

However, the president said Iran was not going to make an sudden withdrawal from the NPT, as North Korea did.

"We would still like to be patient, so do not try to wear down our patience," he said.