Analysis: An Uncertain Deal with India
Council on Foreign Relations
July 18, 2008
Author: Jayshree Bajoria
The deal also requires the approval of the forty-five member Nuclear Suppliers Group, the Indian parliament, and the U.S. Congress. All member countries of the suppliers group, which includes China, will have to agree to exempt India from rules prohibiting nuclear sales to countries that do not accept full-scope safeguards agreements on all of their nuclear facilities. (India is not a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty or the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty). Experts see irony if such an exemption were to occur, as the suppliers group was created in 1974 following India's first nuclear test to restrict the spread of nuclear technology for weapons programs. Meanwhile, before the Indian parliament can vote on the deal, the Singh government has to win a trust vote (VOA) on July 22 to stay in power. The government's Communist allies, opposed to the nuclear pact, withdrew support (Hindu) on July 8. Singh's party says it has secured support from new allies.
President Bush has his own problems persuading Congress to pass the deal before it adjourns for the year on September 26.
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