CANBERRA: Australia's decision to sell uranium to India is against the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as well as a boost to nuclear arms race, experts opined here on Monday.
Earlier on Sunday, Australian Labor government voted to overturn ban on uranium sales to India at the Labor's national conference which Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said would boost trade and enhance Australia's relationship with India.
Gillard's argument of boosting trade and enhancing Indo-Australian relationship, however, cannot hold water as selling nuclear weapons, fissile material and weapons-applicable nuclear technology or information, to countries which are not recognized as "Nuclear Weapon States" by theTreaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, also known as the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty or NPT can technically be described as an act of nuclear proliferation, experts said.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a former IAEA official argued that Australia should not sell uranium to India which has not yet signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). This is a clear violation of the NPT and would only cause nuclear arms race in the region, the official added.
At present, 189 countries are States Parties to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, more commonly known as the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty or NPT. Besides the five recognized Nuclear Weapons States: the People's Republic of China, France, Russian Federation, the UK, and the United States, there is at least one country, India which has not ratified the NPT despite being unofficially considered as having a large amount of nuclear weapons.
On 18 May 1974, India exploded its first nuclear device code named Operation Smiling Buddha. After about a quarter century, on 11 May 1998, another test code named Operation Shakti was carried out. These nuclear tests resulted in a variety of sanctions against India by a number of major states.