July 10, 2008 - Markey: India-IAEA Safeguards Agreement

Loopholes in Agreement Contradict Bush Admin Promises, Hyde Act
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the founder and co-chair of the House Bipartisan Task Force on Nonproliferation, expressed his shock at the loopholes contained in the newly-released International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards agreement with India, negotiated to cover the U.S.-India nuclear deal.

"The India-IAEA safeguards agreement is worse than useless; it is a sham.  Safeguards agreements should ensure a bright red line between civilian and military nuclear facilities. Instead, this agreement lays out a path for India to unilaterally remove international safeguards from reactors," Rep. Markey said.

"This pathetic safeguards agreement not only seriously undermines the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but it also sends the exact wrong message to Iran: that international nuclear safeguards are only for show. With this agreement, the IAEA has thrown its principles out the window and has abandoned its most important responsibilities. Contrary to everything the Bush administration has claimed about the U.S.-India nuclear deal, if this safeguards agreement is approved, India will be allowed to make electricity one day and bombs the next."

The Bush Administration pledged to Congress repeatedly that the IAEA safeguards agreement would be permanent and not allow India to take facilities out of safeguards for any reason.  On Wednesday April 5, 2006, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that, "Once a reactor is under IAEA oversight, safeguards will be in place permanently and without any conditions."  The Hyde Act, which the Congress passed govern nuclear transfers to India, also requires that the IAEA safeguards agreement be "in perpetuity." 

"Secretary Rice testified before Congress that safeguards on Indian nuclear facilities would be ‘permanent,' not ‘as long as India wants.'  She and the Bush Administration will need to answer to Congress as to why this safeguards agreement is the complete opposite from what they told us it would be.  This safeguards agreement contradicts what the Bush Administration has said for 3 years, and it contradicts the law," Rep. Markey concluded.


July 10, 2008

CONTACT: Jessica Schafer, 202.225.2836