Iran speaker critical of nuclear treaty

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The Independent Online

Iran sees little point to staying in the Non-Proliferation Treaty, a senior official said yesterday, a day after announcing plans to build 10 more nuclear sites.

The comments by Ali Larijani, the influential conservative speaker of parliament, underlined deteriorating relations between Iran and world powers. Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency rebuked Iran for building an enrichment plant in secret, triggering Tehran's defiant announcement to erect 10 more such sites.

"I believe that their moves are harming the NPT the most ... Now whether you are a member of the NPT or pull out of it has no difference," Mr Larijani told a news conference, alluding to the global pact banning development of nuclear weapons. Top Iranian officials have repeatedly said Iran has no intention of leaving the NPT.

Analysts believe Iran would think twice as such a move would betray nuclear weapons ambitions and could provoke attack by Israel or the US.