[Marxism] Oppose the Indo-US Nuclear Deal and 123 Agreement: Press release

Sukla Sen suklasenp at yahoo.co.uk
Wed Aug 15 08:37:59 MDT 2007

Press Release 14 August 2007 

ABOLITION 2000, a network of over 2000 organizations
in more than 90 countries working for nuclear
disarmament, today urged leaders of the 
45 countries that control international nuclear trade
as members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to
reject the proposed US-India nuclear deal. 

The US-India deal exempts India from US
non-proliferation laws that have banned the sale of
nuclear fuel and technology to India for about three
decades. These laws were created because India used
nuclear technology provided for peaceful purposes to
make nuclear weapons. For the deal to proceed, the NSG
countries must reach a consensus to grant India a
similar special exemption from their nuclear trade

Philip White, Coordinator of ABOLITION 2000's US-India
Deal Working Group, said, "The agreement will fuel an
arms race in South Asia. The International Panel on
Fissile Materials has shown how the deal will enable
India to increase many fold its production of fissile
material for nuclear weapons, and Pakistan is already
taking steps to expand its nuclear weapons program." 

Mr. White noted that "The deal undermines the basic
bargain of the nuclear non-proliferation regime - you
cannot benefit from nuclear trade if you make nuclear
weapons. Pakistan and Israel, who are also outside the
NPT, have already asked for exemptions. North Korea
may echo join these demands. Some countries may ask
why stay in NPT if you can get the same benefits by
being outside it." 

Mr. White said, "All the NSG countries, especially
those who claim to take non-proliferation and
disarmament seriously, must ensure that the US-India
deal comply fully with international nuclear
disarmament and non-proliferation agreements,
principles, and norms. Otherwise, it must be

He added, "The deal marks such a fundamental shift in
the international non-proliferation regime that any
decision to exempt India from the rules should be
submitted for approval by all the countries of the NPT
at their next Review Conference, in 2010." 

The text of the working group's letter, along with a
list of endorsing members and a list of NSG countries

Contact: Philip White, Coordinator of ABOLITION 2000's
US-India Deal Working Group c/- Citizens' Nuclear
Information Center, Tokyo, Japan Tel: 81-3-3357-3800
Fax: 81-3-3357-3801 Email 1: white at ... Email 2:
cnic at ... Working Group Web Site:


Letter sent to heads of NSG governments on 14 August
(First sentence of paragraph 3 reworded slightly for
governments which are not currently represented on the
IAEA Board of Governors) 

Prime Minister ... / President ... 

We write to you on behalf of ABOLITION 2000, a global
network of over 
2000 organizations in more than 90 countries working
for a global treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons, to
share our concern about the nuclear agreement that has
been negotiated between the US and India. We hope
that, like us, your government will consider the deal
to be deeply flawed and reject it. 

As you know, the United States and India recently
finalized details of a proposed agreement that will
exempt India from long-standing restrictions on
nuclear trade. For this deal to proceed, India must
negotiate a safeguards agreement with the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the 45
member-states of the Nuclear Suppliers Group 
(NSG) also must decide to grant India a special
exemption from their rules governing nuclear trade. 

Your government is represented on both the Board of
Governors of the IAEA and on the NSG, so it is in a
position of great responsibility. We urge you to
ensure that there is no rush to judgment in the
negotiation of a safeguards agreement between India
and the IAEA or at the NSG. The goal of members states
in both bodies should be to ensure that the US-India
deal comply fully with current international nuclear
disarmament and non-proliferation agreements,
principles, and norms. 

In the case of the NSG, all 45 member countries have a
power of veto over implementation of the US-India
nuclear agreement. For the reasons outlined below we
urge you to exercise that power. Furthermore, we
believe that the deal is of such consequence for the
international non-proliferation regime that the final
decision on this matter should be made by the NPT
parties at the next Review Conference, in 2010. The
currently applicable consensus within the NPT
framework is that countries should not receive nuclear
assistance unless they have made "internationally
legally binding commitments not to acquire nuclear
weapons or other nuclear explosive devices". (See
paragraph 12 of the 'Principles and objectives for
nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament' Decision 2,
1995 NPT Extension Conference). We urge you to make it
clear that any effort to force a decision in the NSG
prior to a new consensus among the NPT parties will be
opposed by your government. 

Background and Analysis 

The text of the agreement (referred to as a "Section
123" agreement after the section in the US Atomic
Energy Act) was released on 3 August 
2007. Key features are an unusual arrangement for a
dedicated reprocessing facility and U.S. fuel supply
assurances to India. In both areas the proposed
agreement grants preferential treatment to a non-NPT
party. These attempts to finesse concerns about
compliance with US law 
(the Atomic Energy Act and the Hyde Act) must not be
allowed to blind the governments of other countries to
the broader concerns discussed below. 

Since its nuclear test in 1974, India has been subject
to sanctions on trade in nuclear technology. After
India and Pakistan conducted nuclear tests in 1998,
the United Nations Security Council passed a
(SC1172) condemning the tests. The "Section 123"
agreement violates SC1172, which calls on India and
Pakistan "immediately to stop their nuclear weapon
development programs, to refrain from weaponization or
from the deployment of nuclear weapons, to cease
development of ballistic missiles capable of
delivering nuclear weapons and any further production
of fissile material for nuclear weapons. " The
Resolution also "encourages all States to prevent the
export of equipment, materials or technology that
could in any way assist programs in India or Pakistan
for nuclear weapons." In the absence of India halting
the production of fissile material for weapons, the
supply of uranium to India by the international
community for the reactors on its civilian list would
still free up India's limited supply of indigenous
reactor fuel for the sole purpose of fueling plutonium
production reactors, thus indirectly assisting India's
nuclear weapons program. (2) 

The Section 123 agreement would allow for the transfer
of sensitive reprocessing technology under certain
circumstances. But the supply to India of equipment
that may also be used in reprocessing, uranium
enrichment, and heavy water production facilities
risks that such equipment may be replicated and used
in India's unsafeguarded nuclear weapons program. Such
cooperation, if allowed by the NSG, could violate the
original five Nuclear-Weapons States' NPT obligations
under Article I of the NPT, which prohibits
nuclear-weapon states from assisting
non-nuclear-weapon states in any way to acquire
nuclear weapons. 

Despite developing and testing nuclear weapons outside
the framework of the NPT, India is getting more
favorable treatment than any NPT state with which the
United States has a nuclear cooperation agreement. The
Arms Control Association made the following comment in
a Background Memo (3) issued in response to the August
3 release of the text of the "Section 123" agreement: 

"The U.S.-India nuclear trade deal would grant India
benefits not available to the non-nuclear weapon
states parties to the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty
without even requiring it to meet all of the
responsibilities expected of the five original
nuclear-weapon states. "For example, unlike China,
France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United
States, India has refused to sign the 1996
Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and it has
refused unilaterally to declare a halt to the
production of fissile material for weapons -- as
France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and United States
have all done." 

There is an immediate risk that the US-India nuclear
agreement will fuel a nuclear arms race between India
and Pakistan. Pakistan's National Command Authority
(NCA), chaired by President Pervez Musharraf, has
declared that "In view of the fact the [U.S.-India]
agreement would enable India to produce a significant
quantity of fissile material and nuclear weapons from
unsafeguarded nuclear reactors, the NCA expressed firm
resolve that our credible minimum deterrence
requirements will be met." This suggests a South Asian
fissile material race may be imminent. 

Exempting India from international rules governing
trade in nuclear technology threatens to undermine the
nuclear non-proliferation order and thereby the
prospects for global nuclear disarmament. Regardless
of claims that the exemption will apply only to India,
inevitably other nuclear proliferators will expect the
same treatment. There is a danger that Pakistan,
Israel and North-Korea, and possibly other countries
in future, will see this as an opportunity for them to
lay similar claims. For this and all the above reasons
we urge you to reject this ill-conceived nuclear

Philip White, US-India Deal Working Group Coordinator
Steven Staples, Global Secretariat to Abolition 2000 
14 August 2007 

Notes and References 

1. ABOLITION 2000's US-India Deal Working Group was
established at ABOLITION 2000's Annual General Meeting
held during the May 2007 NPT PrepCom in Vienna.
ABOLITION 2000 lobbied governments at the NPT PrepCom.

2. Zia Mian, A.H. Nayyar, R. Rajaraman and M. V.
Ramana, Fissile Materials in South Asia:The
Implications of the US-India Nuclear Deal,
International Panel on Fissile Materials, Research
Report #1, 11 July 


3. Arms Control Association Background Memo,
"U.S.-Indian Nuclear Agreement: A Bad Deal Gets
Worse", August 3, 2007

Endorsed by Members of Abolition 2000 US-India Deal
Working Group 

Lisa Clark (Italy), Beati i costruttori di pace
(Blessed Are the Peacemakers) and Italian Disarmament

Beatrice Fihn (Sweden), Womens' International League
for Peace and Freedom 

Hamsa Genedy (Egypt), International Section,
Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organization 

Jim Green (Australia), Friends of the Earth Australia 

Regina Hagen (Germany), International Network of
Engineers and Scientists Against Proliferation 

Xanthe Hall (Germany), International Physicians for
the Prevention of Nuclear War 

John Hallam (Australia), People for Nuclear
Disarmament NSW 

David Heller (Belgium), Friends of the Earth Flanders
& Brussels 

Hidemichi Kano (Japan), Japan Congress Against A- and

Akira Kawasaki (Japan), Peace Boat 

Daryl Kimball (USA), Arms Control Association 

Ak Malten (The Netherlands), Global Anti-Nuclear

Nouri Abdul Razzak Hussain (Egypt), Secretary-General,
Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organization 

Sukla Sen (India), National Coordination Committee
Member, Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace 

Hari P. Sharma (Canada), Professor Emeritus of
Sociology, Simon Fraser University and President,
SANSAD (South Asian Network for Secularism and

Steven Staples (Canada), Director, Rideau Institute on
International Affairs, Global Secretariat to Abolition

Heinz Stockinger (Austria), PLAGE - Independent
Platform Against Nuclear Dangers 

Aaron Tovish (USA), International Manager, Mayors for
Peace 2020 Vision Campaign International Secretariat 

Philip White (Japan), Citizens' Nuclear Information

Working Group Contact Address: c/- Citizens' Nuclear
Information Center, Akebonobashi Co-op 2F-B, 
8-5 Sumiyoshi-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 162-0065, Japan
Tel: 03-3357-3800 Fax: 03-3357-3801

List of countries which are represented on the NSG and
the IAEA Board of Governors: Argentina, Australia,
Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia,
Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Norway,
Russian Federation, Slovenia, South Africa, South
Korea, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of

List of countries which are represented on the NSG,
but not on the IAEA Board of Governors: Belgium,
Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia,
Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia,
Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, New
Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain,
Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine

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