[Marxism] More on Australian Uranium for India and Indo-US Nuclear Deal

Naveen Jaganathan naveenkj3 at gmail.com
Tue Aug 28 09:24:44 MDT 2007

*Aussie Green Left Weekly: *
*No uraniam to India! No new arms race!*

*In a move that blatantly undermines the cause of nuclear weapon
non-proliferation, on PM John Howard announced on August 17 that Canberra
had reached an "in principle" agreement with New Delhi to sell uranium to
India, one of only three states in the world — along with Pakistan and
Israel — that have not signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).*

India is a confirmed nuclear weapons state, having conducted two separate
nuclear detonation "tests", one in 1974 and another in 1998. The latter test
prompted neighbouring Pakistan, which has been engaged in a decades-long
dispute over Kashmir with India, to conduct its own nuclear weapons test.
India and Pakistan have fought four wars, most recenmtly over Kashmir in

In an August 15 On Line Opinion article, Friends of the Earth anti-nuclear
campaigner Dr Jim Green noted that a "key problem with proposed uranium
exports to India is that it will free up domestic uranium in India for
weapons production. This is a theoretical possibility with uranium exports
to any nuclear weapons state, but in the case of India it is not just a
possible outcome but a likely one."


On 8/28/07, Sukla Sen <suklasenp at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
> http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/uranium-sales-would-breach-nuclear-treaty/2007/08/27/1188067034506.html
> Uranium sales would breach nuclear treaty
> Anne Davies Herald Correspondent in Washington
> August 28, 2007
> AUSTRALIA will be in breach of an anti-nuclear treaty
> approved by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander
> Downer, if it goes ahead with plans to sell uranium to
> India.
> Mr Downer, now an advocate of uranium sales,
> acknowledged 10 years ago in Hansard that, under the
> South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty signed in 1985,
> Australia could not sell uranium to countries which
> had not signed up to "full scope safeguards" on their
> nuclear plants.
> Yet Australia's sales to India, which has not signed
> the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, will be subject
> to a regime which experts say falls well short of such
> safeguards. Under the draft US-India deal signed this
> month, only the civil nuclear plants will be subject
> to inspections, while military installations will not.
> As Mr Downer put it in 1996: "Article 4(a) of the
> South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty imposes a legal
> obligation not to provide nuclear material unless
> subject to the safeguards required by Article III.1 of
> the NPT, that is full scope safeguards."
> Mr Downer had been asked about sales of uranium to
> Taiwan, which is not a signatory to the
> non-proliferation treaty because it lacks nation
> status.
> A spokesman for Mr Downer said yesterday that the
> minister was confident that there was no breach of
> Australia's treaty obligations. The proposed Indian
> deal had a number of safeguards, including, within the
> US-India agreement, the International Atomic Energy
> Agency inspection regime.
> He did not address the issue of those facilities that
> were not subject to inspections.
> The latest salvo aimed at Australia's decision to sell
> uranium to India comes from the James Martin Centre
> for Non-Proliferation Studies at the Monterey
> Institute of International Studies in California. It
> says Australia will be in breach of the South Pacific
> treaty and points to answers Mr Downer gave 10 years
> ago in Hansard as proof.
> The institute's Washington director, Leonard Spector,
> said Australia was trying to find "wriggle room" to
> proceed with the sales. "The question of whether
> Australia can legally export uranium to India is no
> longer in doubt. It cannot."
> The US President, George Bush, is likely to discuss
> the India agreement with the Prime Minister, John
> Howard, next week before the Asia-Pacific Economic
> Co-operation forum.
> Labor's spokesman on foreign affairs, Rob McClelland,
> said the more uranium was exported to a country
> outside the non-proliferation regime the greater the
> risk of nuclear material falling into the wrong hands.
> "This is why Labor does not support the sale of
> uranium to a non-signatory to the Nuclear
> Non-Proliferation Treaty."
> The former chief United Nations weapons inspector,
> Hans Blix, backs the sale of uranium to India,
> provided it is used only to generate energy and not to
> produce weapons.
> But he advocates further treaties to strengthen the
> non-proliferation regime. "You would have a treaty
> which prohibits states from producing highly enriched
> uranium or plutonium for weapons purposes, and with
> international verification."
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