Effectiveness of Indian n-safeguards questioned at IAEA meet

June 3rd, 2008 - 2:21 pm ICT by IANS  

By Mehru Jaffer
Vienna, June 3 (IANS) Abdul Samad Minty, South Africa’s representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors, said here there is concern that India’s nuclear facilities meant for peaceful purposes might be misused since it was not clear how the country would safeguard them. “The international community would like to know how India’s nuclear supplies meant for peaceful use will be safeguarded from proliferation,” Minty said while speaking on ‘South Africa’s Commitment to Disarmament and Nuclear Non-Proliferation’ on the opening day of the five-day IAEA Board of Governors meet Monday.

However, discussion of the 20-page safeguard agreement between India and the IAEA was not on the agenda of the meeting.

Minty said the international community was also concerned about the nuclear deal between India and the US since not much was known about the bilateral agreement between the two countries.

He said there was a fear that India was being seduced by vested interests to go nuclear to keep the world’s limited oil and gas resources away from its growing market.

However, IAEA Director General Mohammad El Baradei had welcomed the nuclear agreement between India and the US in the past, calling it an important step towards satisfying India’ growing need for nuclear technology and fuel as an engine for development.

South Africa gave up its nuclear options in the 1990s and wants other nations to follow suit. One of the founders of the anti-apartheid movement in the country, Minty is a staunch supporter of non-proliferation.

“As long as some countries have nuclear weapons there will be others who will also aspire to possess them. The responsibility for the elimination of nuclear weapons lies with the nuclear weapon states,” Minty said.

“In South Africa we believe that when it comes to nuclear weapons there are no right hands,” he added.

At the same time, he asserts the right of every nation, including Iran, to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

At Monday’s meeting, El Baradei addressed the status of implementation of the non-proliferation treaty in several nations.

Regarding verification of Iran

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