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IAEA Board approves Indian ‘Additional Protocol’
New Delhi: India on Tuesday won formal approval for an Additional Protocol to its safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency from the IAEA’s Board of Governors, thereby completing all of its major commitments stemming from the July 2005 nuclear agreement with the United States.
IAEA sources confirmed the BoG’s decision but declined to provide details of the protocol’s text pending its release for public distribution.
The sources, however, confirmed that the Indian text differed from the standard AP applicable to non-nuclear weapon states in a number of crucial aspects. The text was finalized mid-February after a total of four rounds of discussion between an Indian delegation led by the Department of Atomic Energy and the IAEA secretariat.
According to the German news agency DPA, the Indian protocol does not mention verification of nuclear imports, short-notice inspections or the IAEA’s right to take chemical samples which can reveal hidden nuclear activities. All of these provisions form part of the standard template for Additional Protocols.
The first public announcement that the Indian text was ready for approval was made by IAEA Director General Mohammed el-Baradei in his address to the Board on March 2.
Of course, I will provide the text and my analysis of the Indian AP in the next day or two.