Oz Ban on Uranium Sale to India Likely to Be Lifted

Australia could give India access to its uranium provided ‘equivalent disciplines’ were applied to help meet disarmament obligations, indicates an international panel expert report.

The latest media reports in Australia said that Australia could lift its ban on uranium sale to India after a report commissioned by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and his Japanese counterpart recommended changes to the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

Besides, reports suggest that three countries which have not signed NPT treaty – India, Pakistan and Israel – should ink another ‘parallel instruments’ formulated to make sure that they did not divert civilian nuclear materials to military use that will clear the way for them to access uranium and other nuclear materials and technology.

Suggestions made in International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament report – which was released by Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on Tuesday – could resolve the impasse, reports said.

Reports said that the reality is that India, Pakistan and Israel would not ink the treaty, which means that ‘every effort should be made to achieve their participation in parallel instruments and arrangements equally applicable to non-proliferation and disarmament obligations.

“Provided they satisfy strong objective criteria demonstrating commitment to disarmament and non-proliferation…these states should have access to nuclear materials and technology for civilian purposes on the same basis as an NPT member,” the report said.

Rudd and his then Japanese counterpart set up the commission 18 months ago amid concerns the treaty was unravelling as countries such as North Korea and Iran stepped up their nuclear programs.

It also called on the nuclear powers to cut their arsenals of warheads from 23,000 to 2000 by 2025, to take them off hair-trigger alert status and to adopt “no first use” doctrines.

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