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US-India Nuclear Deal
Letter sent by Abolition 2000 to heads of NSG governments on 14 August 2007


Published 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.

ACDN, as a memeber of the A2000 Network, supports and endorses this letter.


(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 resolution
(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 agreement.

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

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 H-Bombs

Akira Kawasaki (Japan), Peace Boat

Daryl Kimball (USA), Arms Control Association

Ak Malten (The Netherlands), Global Anti-Nuclear Alliance

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 Democracy)

Steven Staples (Canada), Director, Rideau Institute on International
Affairs, Global Secretariat to Abolition 2000

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 Center

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
http://cnic.jp/english/topics/plutonium/proliferation/usindia.html


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
2006
http://www.fissilematerials.org/ipfm/site_down/ipfmresearchreport01.pdf

3. Arms Control Association Background Memo, "U.S.-Indian Nuclear
Agreement: A Bad Deal Gets Worse", August 3, 2007
http://www.armscontrol.org/pressroom/2007/20070803_IndiaUS.asp


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 America.

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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