Argentina's IAEA Chief Candidate Says Non-Proliferation Pact Vital, Doubts Iran's Exit

Argentina's IAEA Chief Candidate Says Non-Proliferation Pact Vital, Doubts Iran's Exit

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 10th September, 2019) One of the top candidates for the post of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief, Rafael Grossi, expressed his confidence to Sputnik on Monday that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was an indispensable and ground-laying agreement from which Iran was unlikely to withdraw, as was previously hinted at by Iran's atomic energy agency.

Last week, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi, said that Tehran had considered the issue of leaving the NPT following the United States' withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, but later changed its mind.

"It [the NPT] is not an agreement that is there for a few years, it is an agreement that has been setting the ground rules for decades. In this regard, this is the largest... treaty in international law, 191 countries, it almost mirrors the United Nations itself. So the NPT is indispensable, it is irreplaceable.

There is nothing you can do in the nuclear field without the NPT," Grossi said in an interview.

Expressing confidence, Grossi added that the deal has been in place for 50 years and will remain effective for another 50 years.

"With reference to some statements of countries, perhaps referring to Iran withdrawing from the NPT, I have not seen any official indication in that direction. Frankly, I do not have any reason to believe that they will follow through with such a decision, which will go far beyond the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], because as I said everything, what not only Iran, every country does, is more or less guided or conducted by the NPT. I do not see that as a real possibility," Grossi added.

The NPT was signed on July 1, 1968, and went into effect in March 1970. Nuclear-armed India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and South Sudan have so far refused to sign the pact.

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