Tuesday, June 24, 2008

U.S.-India Nuclear Deal: Status and Update

The Center's Leonor Tomero has put together a terrific update on the U.S.-India nuclear deal. Provided below is a summary of her findings; the full update can be found here.

The U.S.-India nuclear deal has been delayed since last summer, when India and the International Atomic Energy Agency negotiated a safeguards agreement. For almost nine months, the deal has been in limbo due to opposition from Indian political parties like Bharatiya Janata Party and the Indian Communists that oppose the deal. The Indian Communists, who see the deal as a threat to an independent Indian foreign policy, threatened to withdraw from the coalition government led by Prime Minister Singh if India signed the safeguards agreement.

So far, meetings within India's governing coalition have failed to produce an agreement. One more meeting is now scheduled for June 25. Time is running out in 2008 for the Indian government to sign the safeguards agreement, have the Nuclear Suppliers Group change international rules to allow nuclear trade with India, and then have both houses of the U.S. Congress approve the agreement.

The U.S. Congress approved the first phase of the deal in 2006 in what was called the 2006 Henry Hyde Act. This second phase of the U.S.-India nuclear trade agreement poses significant dangers for U.S. and international nuclear non-proliferation efforts and fails to uphold the non-proliferation requirements that Congress approved in 2006.

Click here for the full update on the U.S.-India nuclear deal by Tomero.

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