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Iran lawmakers threaten withdrawal from Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

[JURIST] Iranian lawmakers have sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official profile; BBC profile] threatening to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty [PDF text], which it signed in 1968, if "the U.N. Secretary General and other members of the U.N. Security Council fail in their crucial responsibility to resolve differences peacefully." The letter was read aloud on state-run radio on Sunday. Under Article 10 of the NPT:

Each Party shall in exercising its national sovereignty have the right to withdraw from the Treaty if it decides that extraordinary events, related to the subject matter of this Treaty, have jeopardized the supreme interests of its country. It shall give notice of such withdrawal to all other Parties to the Treaty and to the United Nations Security Council three months in advance. Such notice shall include a statement of the extraordinary events it regards as having jeopardized its supreme interests.
Members of Iran's legislature said in the letter that they would consider forcing the government to withdraw from the NPT treaty if the United States and other members of the UN Security Council [official website] do not end their pressure on Iran to end its nuclear enrichment program [JURIST report].

On Friday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [official website; BBC profile] insisted that Iran has a legal right to pursue its nuclear program [JURIST report] and condemned efforts by the US, France and Britain to pass a draft Security Council resolution [JURIST report] that could lead to the use of military force or sanctions. Russia and China, nations that have power to veto a Security Council resolution, have both dismissed the draft proposal citing lack of evidence that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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