Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation: New Push for U.S.-India Nuclear Deal Undermines Global Non-Proliferation and Congressional Authority

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 11, 2008
10:58 AM

CONTACT: Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
Travis Sharp
202.546.0795 ext. 123
tsharp@armscontrolcenter.org

 
New Push for U.S.-India Nuclear Deal Undermines Global Non-Proliferation and Congressional Authority
 
WASHINGTON - July 11 - The Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation today advised that the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the U.S. Congress not be bullied into making a hasty decision on the U.S.-India nuclear agreement, given the dangerous ramifications of the agreement for nuclear non-proliferation efforts.

New concerns have arisen recently as India makes a last ditch attempt to complete the agreement before the end of the Bush administration.

Leonor Tomero, Director of Nuclear Non-Proliferation at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, noted that “India and the Bush administration have played fast and loose in negotiating this agreement, disregarding the clear conditions that Congress had stipulated.”

“Given the discrepancies between the provisions that Congress insists on before completing the deal and the agreement that the administration negotiated with India, it is incumbent upon Congress and the Nuclear Suppliers Group to give the agreement careful consideration and to not allow themselves to be rushed into a hasty decision,” Tomero added.

Domestic political opposition within India held up the deal since last fall, but a political maneuver last week enabled Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to secure enough internal support, despite opposition from the Indian Communists, to push ahead with the deal.

The IAEA Board of Governors is expected to meet on July 28 to consider the safeguards agreement, after which the Nuclear Suppliers Group will be asked to exempt India from international rules barring nuclear trade with those states that do not accept full-scope safeguards agreements on all of their nuclear facilities.

“These are not trivial issues,” added John Isaacs, Executive Director of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. “This exemption would tie the hands of the next administration and greatly compromise U.S. and international efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and materials.”

The Nuclear Suppliers Group may meet in September. It is expected that at least two sessions will be needed to come to agreement. Once these two steps have been completed, the U.S. Congress will be free to vote on the final U.S.-India “123 agreement.”

Time is running out, however, as the U.S. Congress is scheduled to adjourn for the year on September 26.

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Founded in 1980, the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation is a leading advocate for prudent measures to prevent the spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. Visit the Center online: www.armscontrolcenter.org

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