Thursday, July 26, 2007

Trouble for the US-India Nuclear Deal

If we're going to increase our dependence on nuclear power -- and if we're going to enhance our security in South Asia -- it would be good to seal our nuclear deal with India. Looks like that's not going all that well, however:

US lawmakers have warned Bush administration of "inconsistencies" in the 123 agreement after reports that Washington has agreed to allow India to reprocess spent nuclear fuel under civilian nuclear deal with New Delhi.

The warning came after the agreement between the US and India was finalised in extended talks in Washington last week.

In a letter to President George W Bush, as many as 23 Congressmen-led by Democratic lawmaker Edward Markey expressed their concern that perhaps Washington may have "capitulated" to India's demands on the agreement.

India had sought permission to reprocess nuclear fuel, which would allow it to be used for development of nuclear weapons. Leaders in Congress had indicated that would be a problem -- as seems to be the case now.

For its part, the White House says the deal is kosher:

Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said on Wednesday that a just-completed nuclear deal with India complies with U.S. law, but some experts doubted that, and lawmakers said the agreement could face a rough road in the U.S. Congress.

Congressional sources and other experts told Reuters the agreement reached last week appears to go a long way toward meeting the demands of India's nuclear establishment, giving New Delhi rights only accorded to key U.S. allies Japan and the European Union.

You have to hope we can 'square the circle' and cement a relationship between the US and the world's largest democracy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am sure the deal will be done. Its too important a pact to loose 4 both countries.