Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai said in New Delhi on Thursday (12 January) that India would accept international inspection of its atomic plants if the three big nuclear powers, the United States, the Soviet Union and Britain, stopped testing and started phasing out their nuclear weapons.
GV INTERIOR: Press conference.
SCU: Indian President Morarji Desai speaking in English.
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 2: DESAI: "What I said was, that as long as there are the nations that want us to sign this; as long as they have arsenals of atomic weapons and they go on making explosions and forging new weapons, and adding to them, how can they ask us, who do not want to have any atomic weapons under any conditions, and do not want even to have explosions of any kind....not even peaceful....how can they ask us, saying that we should sign something which we have already done? Therefore, if they decide, that means all of them cannot (indistinct) do it. But as I said, both the USA, the USSR and England, these three are considering and discussing these matters at present, as I understand.
But particularly the USA and the USSR have been the first in the field and have the largest arsenals of atomic weapons. And they are more frequently making explosions. If they decide not to have explosions of any kind....they said they were negotiating about it and they might soon succeed....if they decide not to have any further tests of any kind, peaceful or otherwise, and they don't add to their arsenals, and also come to an agreement to have reduction, with a view to complete destruction of atomic weapons, then there is no difficulty in me accepting the safeguards."
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Background: Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai said in New Delhi on Thursday (12 January) that India would accept international inspection of its atomic plants if the three big nuclear powers, the United States, the Soviet Union and Britain, stopped testing and started phasing out their nuclear weapons. His comments followed recent talks about safeguards for India's nuclear installations with President Jimmy Carter and British Prime Minister James Calleghan. India exploded a nuclear device in 1974, but Mr Desai has said India would not conduct further explosions. He does not want India to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty because he believes it discriminates against his country.