People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 31

August 10 , 2008




The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) issued the following statement on August 2, 2008

THE Safeguards Agreement with India endorsed by the IAEA Board of Governors on August 1, 2008 has made it clear that 14 Indian civilian nuclear facilities will come under perpetual IAEA Safeguards from 2009. That the interpretation of the Indian government regarding the "corrective measures" mentioned in the Preamble of the Safeguards Agreement providing for a check against disruption of fuel supplies, does not hold, has been made clear by the IAEA. In his introductory statement to the Board of Governors, IAEA director general Dr Mohamed El Baradei said: "As with other safeguards agreements between the Agency and Member States, the (Indian) agreement is of indefinite duration. There are no conditions for the discontinuation of safeguards other than those provided by the safeguards agreement itself. The termination provisions contained in the agreement are the same as for other 66-type agreements". Therefore, the Safeguards Agreement can only be terminated under the standard termination conditions contained in Articles 29 and 32 of the Agreement, implying that nuclear facilities can be withdrawn from safeguards only after these facilities are no longer usable for any nuclear activity.

This belies the prime minister's assurance in parliament that India's civilian nuclear facilities would be put under perpetual IAEA safeguards only under the strictly reciprocal condition of uninterrupted fuel supply guarantees. Neither does the 123 agreement with the US provide any such fuel supply guarantee nor can the IAEA ensure uninterrupted fuel supply since it is only a monitoring agency. Thus, the provisions of the Hyde Act and not the assurances made by the Indian prime minister in parliament are shaping the course of the India-US nuclear deal through the various stages.