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Indo-West role in nuclear proliferation
—Nuclear Safety Summit ends in US despite many Western countries and India being deeply involved in nuclear underworld trade —Several entities, companies, individuals in India and across Europe engage in nuclear underworld trade —British businessman Paul Griffin emerges as major player in the nuclear underworld trade —Spanish companies have also been involved in exporting high-precision equipment —A Danish businessman Joergen Quist Nielsen is also accused of nuclear smuggling to Libya and other countries in collaboration with Russian bigwig Alexander Kuzini —An Indian-American was arrested in the USA in December 2003, for exporting nuclear components to North Korea and yet another was caught trying to smuggle Russian missiles into the US via Canada —In 1991 Iran and India were negotiating the sale of a 10 megawatt research reactor for installation at Iranian facility at Kalaye Electric Company (KEC) —At the KEC the traces of LEU and HEU were discovered by the IAEA during environment sampling, which led to admittance by Iran in October 2003 that it carried out centrifuge testing over there using UF6ii. It also admitted extraction of small amounts of Plutonium —India’s Dr. Prasad soon developed a network of nuclear underworld with the help off these Russian scientists who were willing to offer everything —Prasad remains the linchpin of an unholy nexus between unscrupulous business establishments, corrupt officials of NPCIL and the ‘sacred cow’ DAE, India —Iran’s nuclear programme received a major boost with joining of Prasad, owing to his resourceful network within the Indian and Russian nuclear circles —India had an extensive covert chemical weapons programme and it helped Iraq tremendously in this field

By Makhdoom Babar (Additional reporting by Christina Palmer and Ajay Mehta in New Delhi, John Denver in Spain, Sara Christopher in UK and Ajmal Badavi in UAE)

While the world leaders have pledged to secure nuclear assets across the world at the 2-day Nuclear Safety Summit in US Capital Washington DC, many Western countries and India are much more deeply involved into the nuclear underworld trade than what catches the eyes or is reported in the media reveals the latest investigative research of The Daily Mail.
According to The Daily Mail’s findings, several entities, companies and individuals across Europe and in India have been involved in the clandestine nuclear trade for years now. The main player countries in the nuclear black-market include United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Denmark etc. in West Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria and Czech Republic in East Europe besides India in the Asia. Even the United States has been the supply source of four lasersiii that Iran admitted to IAEA in October 2003 to have used by it for laser enrichment programmeiv.
The Daily Mail’s findings indicate that a British businessman with extensive links in the Middle East, Paul Griffin emerged as the main hinge in a secret network supplying Libya, Iran and North Korea with equipment that could be used build nuclear bombsv. For years Griffin’s company Gulf Technical Industries (GTI) acted as go between for procuring and diverting nuclear parts to these and other countries desiring to obtain them at a substantive price on the black-market. Surprisingly no worthwhile action or transparency is seen in Britain’s action against Griffin or his father Peter who is a copartner in the business, despite sermonizing others to bring house in order.
The Daily Mail’s findings further reveal that Spanish companies have also been involved in exporting high-precision equipment that helped Libya mount an ambitious nuclear proliferation programme. Some of this equipment was initially booked for Dubai although UAE does not have any nuclear facility where these parts and equipments could be usedvi. It was later trans-shipped to actual buyers from there. Ironically the Spanish Trade Ministry has been trying to cover-up and denying involvement of any Spanish firm in the illicit nuclear trade while their Foreign Ministry declined to comment. This is despite an ongoing investigation by a Madrid Judge Baltazar Garzon who has sort assistance of Spanish Intelligence Service (CNI) and British Security Forcesvii. The Daily Mail’s findings disclose that a Danish business man Joergen Quist Nielsen is also accused of nuclear smuggling to Libya and other countries in collaboration with Russian bigwig Alexander Kuzinviii. Another German company Boeshler Edelstahl provided Iraq with 100 tons of maraging steel, an essential for high temperature and heat resistant shielding in centrifugesix.
The US Administration has recently expressed its concern to the Indians in very strong terms over their lax controls over nuclear assetsx. According to credible information received by The Daily Mail, a former US Deputy Secretary for State Richard Armitage and former Deputy Secretary Christina Rocca especially took up the matter with the Indians to not only tighten the administrative control on tangible and intangible pilferage, leaks and transfers of nuclear hardware and software from the illusive Indian nuclear establishment but also to establish a new legislative framework to criminalize such activities. They also prompted India to come out clean by informing the disclosing to the international community the full extent of its involvement in proliferation activities to many countries under the garb of peaceful nuclear programmes. An Indian-American was arrested in the USA in December 2003, for exporting nuclear components to North Korea and yet another was caught trying to smuggle Russian missiles into the US via Canada. It was sensing such pressures that former Indian Foreign Secretary JN Dixit advised caution owing to the “impending prospects of India’s nuclear weapon status to come under pressure” as a result of these proliferation activitiesxi.The statements of Anil Kakokar, a former Chairman India’s Atomic Energy Commission (AEG) that Indian Nuclear facilities were safe with barbed electric fences and nuclear secrets could not easily leak out of themxii is also telling of the pressure that India is faced with to end its proliferation activities in a transparent and irreversible manner. The Indian nuclear establishment is usually embargoed from making media appearances.
The Daily Mail’s findings reveal that in the past many Western companies openly touted developing countries even those who had pledged not to develop nuclear weapons by signing NPT, to buy nuclear technology and materials from them. Ironically many of these countries had placed restrictions through domestic legislation on export of these nuclear materials, pursuant to the obligations undertaken by them under the self created mechanism of Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Numerous reports and findings have indicated that Western countries and India are still involved in nuclear black market sales in a big way. Even until very recently the companies and individuals of these countries have been supplying sensitive technology and materials to Iran, Iraq, Libya and other countries. Many countries notably India, Russia, Germany etc. have been supplying these materials to them under the cover of peaceful cooperation agreements trying to hoodwink the international community. Unfortunately the West has been quite condoning of these massive abuses on part of India and its own countries while it has chosen to nitpick Pakistan.
The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that India’s nuclear cooperation with Iran also has a long history. In 1994 police in the West Khasi Hills District of Indian state of Meghalaya near Uranium mining site, accidentally arrested four persons trying to smuggle large quantity of Uranium. Police sources initially claimed that that a former employee of Indian Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) then working in the Persian Gulf (probably Iran) was linked with the dealxiii. A First Information Report (FIR) was also registered by the Meghalaya Police Station against the said former official. However, the case was immediately hushed up so as not to expose the linkup of Indian nuclear establishment with nuclear underworld via Dubai, serving aspirant countries having covert nuclear programme for heavy sums of money.
The Daily Mail’s findings further reveal that earlier in 1991 Iran and India were negotiating the sale of a 10 megawatt research reactor for installation at Iranian facility at Kalaye Electric Company (KEC) and the possibility of sale of a research power reactor. US applied pressure on India not to undertake these contracts. Although under pressure India initially seemed to comply with the US demand, however, credible reports indicated that India might have after all secretly carried through the deal by March 1992 despite US pressurexiv. Interestingly it is at the KEC that traces of LEU and HEU were discovered by the IAEA during environment sampling, which led to admittance by Iran in October 2003 that it carried out centrifuge testing over there using UF6xv. It also admitted extraction of small amounts of Plutonium.
These disclosures were coupled with a sensational discovery that a leading Indian nuclear scientist and former Chairman and Managing Director of Nuclear Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) Dr. Y.S.R. Prasad had been employed by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) after his retirement in 2000xvi. The revelation came as a part of Iran’s efforts to fulfill its promise to the IAEA to make complete declaration of its past and present activities in a bid to clear its name from allegations of developing nuclear weapons. However, India managed to partially blackout the news with an amazing speed. The news item was got removed from the website of Hindustan Timesxvii within hours of its appearance under special instructions of Indian Ministry of Media and Information. Indians also send special emissary to Tehran urging it not to make any further disclosures about the extent of involvement in the Iranian nuclear programme of other officials of its Atomic Energy Commission (AEG), Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) and NPCIL. Former Indian Foreign Minister Yashwant Sinha also later paid a visit to Tehran on 13 December 2003 pleading with Iranians to mute on their nuclear engagements with the Indians. He reiterated India’s support to Iran on peaceful uses of nuclear energy and reiterated promise as bait to buy Iranian gasxviii by laying pipeline.
The Daily Mail’s findings reveal that Dr Y.S.R. Prasad who worked a lifelong with the Indian nuclear establishment has had quite a history of questionable practices. During his frequent visits to the former Soviet Union in connection with nuclear collaboration programme between India and USSR subsequently Russia, Prasad developed an extensive network with the lowly paid Russian nuclear scientists. Many of these scientists were either laid off or were further meagerly paid after Soviet breakup owing to inflation and devaluation. Prasad soon developed a network of nuclear underworld with the help off these Russian scientists who were willing to offer everything from the poorly audited nuclear inventories of Russia and other breakaway Republics. At many of these facilities guards and even scientist remained without salaries for months.
The Daily Mail’s findings reveal that Even back home Prasad’s activities had started raising eyebrows. NPCIL which Prasad headed had become a breading ground for nepotism and sycophancy degenerating to a dangerous cover-up culturexix. Prasad was the linchpin of an unholy nexus between unscrupulous business establishments, corrupt officials of NPCIL and the ‘sacred cow’ DAE, India. Serious irregularities were discovered by audit in the procurement by NPCIL for Kakrapara Atomic Power Station. Fraudulent practices were also reported in procurement for Kaiga I and II power stations in Karnatka and RAPP III and IV Power Stations at Rawatbhata near Kota, Rajasthanxx. Prasad meanwhile managed to get an extension in his service through his networking within the Indian nuclear establishment particularly with the blessings of Chairman AEC and Secretary DAE Dr. Chidambaram, despite having reached the age of superannuation in 1998. Nonetheless, Prasad realized that it would be difficult for him to clinch to the Indian nuclear network for long and started looking for other venues. His contacts with Iran in connection with clandestine nuclear cooperation with India proved handy and landed him a job in Tehran. Prasad left NPCIL on 30 April 2003 but before he managed to manipulate putting his close confidant Chaudary Surender in his shoes even though Chaudary was also on a two years extension due to expire in August 2000.
The Daily Mail’s findings reveal that Iran’s nuclear programme received a major boost with joining of Prasad. Owing to his resourceful network within the Indian and Russian nuclear circles pieces of nuclear puzzle started to fall in place at an amazing pace. Alarm bells were raised and US put pressure on IAEA to verify certain violations of Treaty obligations by Iran, supplying it some information from its own intelligence, which finally resulted in IAEA inspections in Iran. Thus Prasad unwittingly proved to be a precipitating factor in the disclosure of Iran’s secret nuclear programme.
The Daily Mail’s investigations reveal that Nuclear cooperation between India and Iraq started in 1974 under the direct supervision of Saddam Hussain himself on the Iraqi side when he was still the Vice President. Saadam flew to India specially to sign a Nuclear Cooperation Treaty with the then Indian Prime Minster Late Mrs. Indira Gandhi. The little known Treaty involved the exchange of scientists, training and technology.xxi To cover up the secret Treaty India and Iraq signed an overt “Agreement between the Government of India and the Government of the Republic of Iraq relating to the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy” on 28 March 1974 in New Delhi. The then Indian Foreign Secretary Mr. Kewal Singh and the Head of Iraqi Economic Bureau Mr. Fakhri Y. Kaddori signed the Agreement, in the presence of Mrs. Gandhi and Saddam. India tested it first nuclear explosive device on 18 May 1974, in less than two months time from signing of these agreements, thanks to the massive infusion of Iraqi petro-dollars to the programme. It is a further irony that the 12 kilotons nuclear explosion was code named as ‘Smiling Buddha’ by the Indians an obvious to insult the peaceful teachings of Buddha and reflective of the grudge that the Hindu extremists carry against Buddhism from having spread across the world from India rather than Hinduism.
The Daily Mail’s findings disclose that incidentally India had itself used the CANDU reactors supplied to it by the Government of Canada to extract Plutonium for this test. In addition the technical assistance and reactor designs supplied by Canada to India enabled it to develop a capacity to produce over 300 Kilograms of plutonium annuallyxxii. Only 5 to 8 Kg Plutonium is required to produce a nuclear bomb. Canada again included India into CANDU discuss consultative information exchange Group in 1980s despite glaring abuse by it in the past. In 1995 Canadian Atomic Energy staff visited India to discuss another sale of CANDU reactors to India. It was at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre that India developed tritium a heavy water isotope using the Canadian design power reactorsxxiii. The same tritium was used by it in the 1998 nuclear explosions.
Coming back to the Indo-Iraqi nexus, the Iraqi researchers were allowed access to work with Indian scientists in the Plutonium separation labs that were used to extract Plutonium for India’s first nuclear explosion. Saddam later managed to obtain a nuclear fuel reprocessing unit from CNEN of Italy. India also leased numerous scientists to Iraq under the garb of Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation Agreement over the years. One such scientist spent an year training Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission’s Scientists on use of nuclear computer codesxxiv to carry out computer simulated cold nuclear tests. India taught Iraq many tricks, including how easy it was to hide a nuclear weapons program under the cover of peaceful usexxv.
In the words of a former Iraqi nuclear scientist Khidhir Abdul Abas Hamza who managed to defect in 1994, Iraq’s Nuclear weapons program was personally directed by Saddam, which was abetted by a host of Western countries and India over a period of several decades. According to Hamza it was surprising how easy it was to negotiate peaceful nuclear cooperation agreements with Soviet Union, India, Brazil, France, Germany and other European countries to cover obtaining technology for weapons programmexxvi . “We were astonished that companies were actually helping us find cover stories for equipment needed by us” Hamza was quoted in an interview. Hamza’s disclosures had detailed information about how some Indian companies and German companies helped Iraqi nuclear programme, including Degussa AG, Leybold.
The Daily Mail’s findings reveal that Iraq and India continued nuclear cooperation under the patronage of two governments and soon was also extended to other Iraqi WMD programmes like Chemical and Biological Weapons. India had an extensive covert chemical weapons programme and it helped Iraq tremendously in this field. India itself lied to the international community when it signed the Chemical Weapons Treaty in 1997 as a non Chemical Weapons State but later admitted it CWs programme under threat of challenge inspection. In 1986 Iraq had procured 160,000 aluminum tubes from European suppliers and made additional purchases in 2000-1. These CIA presumed to be a proof of an Iraqi centrifuge program. Iraq turned to Indian comepany NEC and Dubai Branch of Indian Company TT S.A.xxvii when other source failed to provide it more tubes. A Dubai based Iraqi businessman Muntasir Awni acted as conduit between the two Indian companies and Iraqi company Rasheed for supply of these aluminum tubes. NEC Engineers India Private LTD also supplied al-Mamoon Company in Iraq a new plant to produce ammonium per-chlorate a key ingredient in the production of solid fuel propellant rocket motorsxxviii. NEC also supplied technology for Fallujah 2 chlorine plant. According to an Iraqi independent paper al’ Mada Saddam also used oil as bribes to Indian Congress Party’s top officialsxxix with the aim to create political support inside of India for such sensitive transfers.
It is evident that if the international community is serious about stoppage of WMD proliferation it has to place emphasis on India and West rather than peripheries, for it his here that the buck starts and stops.
i Danish Newspaper Jyllandsposten, IND-94-020.
ii Report (derestricted) by the Director General IAEA to Board of Governors; November 2003.
iii Mark D. Skootsky, US Policy towards Iran, 1995.
iv Report (derestricted) of Director General IAEA to the Board of Governors, November 2003.
v Guardian, London, Briton Key Suspect in the Nuclear Ring, 12 February 2004.
vi Elizabeth Nash, Independent, London Spanish Firms in Secret Arms Trade to Libya; 12 February 2004.
vii Ibid.
viii Danish Newspaper Jyllandsposten, IND-94-020.
ix Nuclear Engineering International, issue 12271.
x Times of India, Nuclear Hyphen. 11 February 2004.
xi JN Dixit, India’s nuclear weapons status could come under pressure, Hindustan Times, 22 February 2003.
xii Associated Press, 2 March 2004.
xiii Nucleonics Week; 11/3/94 p-17.
xiv Iran to Buy Indian Reactors, Washington Post November 15, 1991 and Mark D. Skootsky; US Nuclear Policy towards Iran,
xv Report (derestricted) by the Director General IAEA to Board of Governors; November 2003.
xvi Agence France Presse (AFP); 23 October 2003.
xvii Hindustan Times; 23 October 2003.
xviii AFP; 13 December 2003.
xix NM Sampath Kumar; SAT Issue 50, 13-19 July.
xx Why All of India’s Nuclear Plants Should be Shut Down,
xxi David Albright; Indian Nuclear Tests: Will They Open New Options For Iraq to Exploit 28 May 1998.
xxii CCNR; Indian Nuclear Bomb Tests. 13 May 1998.
xxiii Janes Intelligence Review January 1998.
xxiv Institute for Science and International Studies (ISIS); May 1998 Publication.
xxv ibid
xxvi Cornell; An Iraqi Defector Warns of Iraqi Nuclear Weapons Research.
xxvii Albright, David, Iraq’s Aluminium Tubes: Separating Fact from Fiction. December 2003.
xxviii UK Dossier paragraph 31.
xxix alMada January 28 issue.

Dr. Y. S. R. Prasad plays host to Russian nuke Scientists at Kudankulam
Dr.Parasad standing in center along with some Iranian nuke scientists during his proliferation activities in Iran
 
 
 
 
 
 
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