Iran will review atomic NPT membership if pushed

NATANZ, Iran (Reuters) - Iran will be forced to review its membership of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if it faces further pressure over its atomic program, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator told reporters.

“If they continue to pressure Iran over its peaceful nuclear activities, we have no other choice but to follow parliament’s order and review our membership of the NPT,” Ali Larijani said.

He was explaining a comment by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a speech at the Natanz enrichment facility, where the West fears Iran is mastering the ability to make atomic bombs. Tehran insists it has purely peaceful aims.

The president had said: “Iran has so far moved in a completely peaceful path and wants to continue following this path. They should avoid doing something which forces this nation to review its behaviour.”

The president had also said Iran was working within the NPT, which he said gave Iran the right to make nuclear fuel, and said it activities were monitored by the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency.

Larijani was also asked if Iran had started injecting gas into 3,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium being set up at the Natanz atomic site and he said: “Yes we have injected gas.”

But he did not say how many of the 3,000 machines had been installed. Diplomats who follow Iran’s nuclear file say almost 1,000 of the machines have been set up.

The centrifuges can make fuel for power plants or, if Iran wanted, material for warheads.