Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

ElBaradei goes to India…But To Talk About What?

Posted by K.E. White on October 9, 2007

ElBaradei is in India on a three day tour. His itinerary: inaugurating new cancer treatment technology (the Bhabhatron-II) and the Bhadha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai. ElBaradei will also be meeting with political leaders, but not in reference to IAEA safeguards for the US India nuclear deal.

The IAEA must approve the US India nuclear deal, and must come to an understanding with India about inspections over nuclear sites. (Note: The current nuclear deal exempts ‘military’ facilities from IAEA inspections. What determines ‘civilian’ vs. ‘military’ nuclear facilities is just one issue that remains to be ironed out.)

The visit may inflame already tense negotiations over the deal within the ruling coalition government. India’s political left, an ally of the majority Congress Party, are not happy over the deal:

“Those who advocate the deal should know that India is capable of developing nuclear energy primarily on a self-reliant basis,” the four communist parties said in a joint release in New Delhi yesterday. “We need not surrender our vital interests to America on this plea.”

Prakash KaratThe New York Times provides an interesting article exploring the leader of the Indian Communist Party Prakash Karat and his party’s spoiler role in Indian politics.

From the Associated Press:

India’s government on Tuesday played down a visit by the chief of the U.N. atomic watchdog, denying he was there to negotiate a landmark nuclear deal between India and the United States that threatens to bring down the government.

Mohamed ElBaradei, whose International Atomic Energy Agency must approve the pact, said he was ready to discuss the agreement whenever Indian officials wished.

Speaking to reporters after a planned meeting with top Indian scientists, he said the “IAEA is ready for talks whenever India approaches me for the talks.”

And from The Hindu News Update:

“IAEA is ready for talks whenever the India approaches me for the talks,” Elbaradei, on a three-day visit to India, said after inaugurating the indigenously developed advanced computerised telecobalt machine `Bhabhatron-II’ for treatment of cancer here.

“The Indian government will have to take a decision,” he said adding, “I will wait for them to come to Vienna to make a formal request (in this regard).”

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