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Denial of N-tech to India illogical: IAEA

IAEA chief ElBaradei has sought to give the Indo-US nuclear deal a shot in the arm, reports S Rajagopalan.

india Updated: Jun 15, 2006 04:28 IST

As the US Congress prepares to weigh in on the Indo-US nuclear deal, International Atomic Energy Agency chief ElBaradei has sought to give the pact a shot in the arm by coming out with a series of compelling arguments in its support.

In perhaps the first public articulation of his reasons for endorsing the deal, ElBaradei on Wednesday went so far as to suggest that it will be illogical to deny civil nuclear technology to India — a country that has “not violated any legal commitment and never encouraged nuclear weapons proliferation”.

Stating that the US has come to treat India as “a valued partner and a trusted contributor to international peace and security”, he commented: “It is difficult to understand the logic that would continue to carve out civil nuclear energy as the single area for non-cooperation.”

The IAEA chief, setting forth his views in a Washington Post Op-Ed piece, termed the Indo-US deal “a creative break with the past” with several potential spin-offs. While India will get the requisite technology to meet its whopping energy demand, the country will be a part of the international effort to combat nuclear terrorism and rid the world of nuclear weapons.

Dismissing the contention of some critics, he pointed out that under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, there is “no such thing as a ‘legitimate’ or ‘illegitimate’ nuclear weapons state.”

“The fact that five states are recognised in the treaty as holders of nuclear weapons was regarded as a matter of transition; the treaty does not in any sense confer permanent status on those states as weapons holders,” he said.

ElBaradei said it was also important to consider the implications of denying peaceful nuclear technology to India. As a country with one-sixth of the world's population, it should have this access to meet its enormous energy demand under what is the fastest-growing civilian nuclear energy programme in the world.

First Published: Jun 15, 2006 01:52 IST