Tehran [Iran]: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday said that withdrawing from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) is one of the “many options” Tehran has to retaliate against re-imposition of US sanctions.
“There are many options available to the Islamic republic, and the country’s officials are considering them,” Zarif said in an interview with the IRNA news agency.
“Leaving the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is one of the options,” he was quoted as saying.
Since Washington’s withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May last year, the Trump administration has been piling up pressure on Tehran through a series of sanctions, Xinhua reported.
In November last year, the US renewed its sanctions on Iran’s banking, energy and shipping industries, despite a 180-day waiver granted to eight of Iran’s major oil buyers, including South Korea, Japan and Turkey.
Last week, the US State Department announced that it would not renew waivers for eight Iranian oil importers, including India and China that are valid till May 1.
The decision was aimed at fulfilling Washington’s intention to make all countries cut their oil imports from Iran to zero, which is further likely to damage Iran’s economy.
Zarif said, “The JCPOA showed sanctions could be removed through negotiations,” adding that his country has never violated its commitments.
The NPT came into effect in 1970 with the aim of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and has been ratified by 190 governments.