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Nuclear Thread - 2
I think it's curious that Boxer and Lantos were both aggressively anti India, and they are both Jewish. Is the Jewish lobby somehow wary of India ?

California Hindus need to help kick boxer out.

<!--QuoteBegin-rajesh_g+Apr 7 2006, 02:56 AM-->QUOTE(rajesh_g @ Apr 7 2006, 02:56 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Boxer is ultra-left-wing with an inherent white-liberal-superiority complex. I think she even made some pretty weird comments on India's NE (most prob Nagaland) and exposed her anti-India colors. I dont remember complete details of that episode.

Anyways, this was posted on BR..



BTW Vajpayee probably got over his hangover (maybe temporarily) and has suddenly realised the moratorium clause and made some noise about this. I'll be damned if any of the major media outlets are going to give major coverage to that story.
I dont think its their Jewish background that is responsible for this nutty behaviour. Atleast in case of Boxer, its her extreme left leanings and her inherent white-rascist attitude that says --> i am white, i am the only one who knows how to be responsible with nukes, those brownies cant be trusted.

I sincerely hope somebody will make a list of anti-India nuts. "pandering to local constituency" is a BS excuse.

Received in mail..

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->INDIA ABROAD, April 7, 2006 pg. A16

Aziz Haniffa column: Inside the Beltway

In the Indo-US Nuclear Deal There Lies, for the Community, Both a Challenge and a Unique Opportunity

It has been awhile since I last wrote my column -- an interval explained by the frenetic pace of developments in Indo-US relationship and, in particular, the civilian nuclear cooperation deal between the two countries.

These developments, and the enormous amount of reportage they entail, kept my from my column; today, the same developments compel me to return to it, if only to alert the Indian American community to the urgent, even vital, need to play a proactive role in seeing the deal through to a successful conclusion.

It needs to be stated, up front, that there are many factors working against the deal: the concerted opposition of the nonproliferation lobby is one; President George W. Bush’s precipitous decline in public opinion polls, the erosion of his political capital, and the certainty that sooner than later he will be reduced to a lame duck; and also the rapidly dissipating euphoria over his recent visit to India, as the November congressional elections draw near, being merely the most prominent of them.

It is therefore absolutely vital that the community that has thus far allowed its attention and energies to be dissipated in what I think of as ’photo op activism’ -- a Diwali stamp, a Dilip Singh Saund portrait, a party in the White House -- get together to play hard ball on this issue; it is vital that the community tells its lawmakers that their vote on this issue will determine their standing within the community.

It is time to hold your lawmakers’ collective feet to the fire, and there are prime candidates for such treatment. Take for example Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican, who lobbied extensively for the post of co-chair of the House Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans and who, now ensconced in that post, not only has not supported the nuclear deal, but has in fact expressed reservations about it in Congressional hearings and during a recent meeting with the President at the White House.

Or take Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat and co-chair of the Friends of India Caucus in the U.S. Senate, a lawmaker who at the drop of a cue waxes eloquent about her regard for India, and her abiding belief that India and the U.S. are natural allies. It was her husband, President Bill Clinton, who took the first steps towards bringing India out of the nuclear cold -- by lifting sanctions and through his landmark visit to New Delhi in the concluding phase of his presidency.

Yet today, Senator Clinton, who is the then First Lady, was part of that history, has been conspicuously silent on the issue. A silence that is frankly both embarassing and insulting.

Both lawmakers need to be told that if they cannot bring themselves to support the changes in law that are required for the deal to fructify, they should in all conscience and good faith, resign their respective positions in the Indian Caucuses, and refrain from embarassing the community, and the country, further.

Let us, too, not forget fence-sitters such as Congressman Ed Royce, California Republican and former co-chair of the India Caucus, and the dozens of members of the Caucus on both the House and the Senate side, who parlay their membership into fundraising opportunities within the community but who, when push has come to shove on this all important issue, have gone AWOL [absent without leave].

These lawmakers need to be told that posing for photo-ops, or talking of their pride in being members of the India Caucus, and recycling the same tired sound bytes about the ’relationship’ between the ’oldest democracy and the largest democracy’ can take them only so far in the community’s favor.

There are an estimated 190 members of the India Caucus, yet only a handfull -- Democratic co-chair Gary Ackerman, erstwhile co-chairs Frank Pallone, Joe Wilson and Joe Crowley -- have taken the floor of the House to support the deal. On the Senate side, where the Friends of India Caucus boasts 40-plus members, the only one who has had the courage and conviction to come forward in support of the deal is co-chair Senator John Cornyn, Texas Republican.

This raises a question -- do we really need to boast of the 190 members of the House Caucus or the 40-odd members of the Senate group? Or are we better off with a pared down list of lawmakers who are genuinely committed to the cause of the community, and the country?

Do we remain satisfied with innocuous sound bytes, or are we as a community ready, at this critical point in time, to ask that the lawmakers walk the talk they have been talking all these years?

I have been both reporter and guest at various community forums where the theory has been advanced ad nauseum that we do not need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to political involvement and by extension political empowerment and that we need only to replicate the political savvy and sophistication of the Jewish American community.

The way the Jewish community comes together to put pressure on their lawmakers at the first sign that some U.S. act may adversely impact on Israel has been held up as an example for the Indian American community. Right, so now it is time to put that precept into practice.

It is time to send the message, loud and clear to every lawmaker that if the community cannot count on his or her support to this deal, then it is goodbye to the open wallets and large-hearted generosity these same lawmakers routinely count on at election time.

And no moment could be more opportune for sending out that message -- because the next election cycle is almost upon us.

This message needs to be conveyed most strongly to presidential aspirants such as Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who have already begun tapping into the fund-raising prowess of topnotch reign makers like Drs. Zach Zachariah, Akshay Desai and Raghavendra Vijayanagar.

These leaders need to be informed that the Indian American fundraising machine is closed to them unless they can bring themselves to get off the fence and help the President make this accord a reality.

The support these lawmakers express needs to be loud, it needs to be public. Other presidential aspirants like Republicans Sam Brownback and George Allen, and Democrats like Evan Bayh have privately informed their close Indian American supporters that they support the deal -- but private whispers don’t cut it; we need them to take to the floor of the House and of the Senate and make their support heard loud and clear.

And then there is Bobby Jindal, Louisiana Republican. To his credit, Bobby though yet a freshman has unequivocally endorsed the agreement publicly at various forums and Indian American events. The most recent being in Dallas at the Indian American Friendship Council’s Texas Chapter annual banquet.

However, as the sole Indian American congressman you need, Bobby, to speak out on the floor of the House arguing the case for the deal; such a move by you will help among other things to convince the members of the Freshman Republican Caucus to come out in support of the deal.

Face one fact, fair and square -- if this deal falls through, India will not fall with it. India has in recent times got its second wind; its economic progress is second to none, and its future is assured -- so much so that in the coming years, the U.S. will need India as much, if not more, as India needs the United States.

So, this is not do or die for India. But it is a sticking point -- perhaps the most important in the history of the two nations. As a senior diplomatic source who was one of the protaganists who negotiated the deal, told me the other day, "This is the litmus test. If it falters or fails, the fall-out will be severe, it will not be limited to just this issue, but will adversely impact on other issues."

This source while discussing the burgeoning strategic partnership between the two countries, pointed out that the critical element in this relationship has been mutual trust.

So if, after achieving all that we have achieved so far, and after coming right down to the wire, this deal falters and fails, critics in India opposed to any substantive relationship with the U.S. will have the ammunition they need to argue that we cannot trust the Americans. And the relationship, which now holds such tremendous potential for the future, will again be obscured by clouds of mistrust and suspicion.

Listen to former U.S. Ambassador to India Robert Blackwill, who was indispensable to the process that laid the groundwork for this agreement by defining the substantive content of how U.S.-India relations ought to be transformed: "On the U.S. side, if it were to go down, it would deal a very serious blow to our national interests in having an even closer relationship with India. And on the Indian side, it would strengthen dramatically the case of Indian critics and skeptics of this relationship with the United States along of the lines of ’we told you the Americans wouldn’t deliver; we told you it was all rhetoric; well, now you see it’."

Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns, in a communication to Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Richard Lugar, and also in an exclusive interview to India Abroad [March 24], underlines the point. ’The initiative to reach civil nuclear cooperation with India recasts one of the most devisive issues of our relationship, and is viewed by many in India as a litmus test for our strategic relationship,’ Burns said in his missive to Lugar.

’If Congress does not approve provisions for India related to nuclear energy, it is likely that the nuclear issue will continue to constrain our diplomatic relationship, as well as our strategic, commercial, defense and scientific ties, thereby having a negative impact on many of the bilateral activities mentioned in the July 18 Joint Statement [India Abroad, February 24].’

Burns, like a true diplomat, is always wary of dealing with a hypothetical. Yet when, in course of our interview, I asked him, what if the deal falls through, he said "There is no question that the deal is going to strengthen US-India relations, and so by logic, if for whatever reason the deal doesn’t go through, it’s going to have an impact -- a negative impact on the relationship."

The stakes thus are very clear; the need for the community to come together and speak to the lawmakers in one clear strong voice could not be more obvious. If it can pull it off, it will be a shot in the arm for the community, a clear sign of its growing political maturity, and importance. Conversely, if it fails it will mean that the community was rendered impotent on the first really substantive issue that it backed -- an issue of enormous importance to the community and to the country.

It is, therefore, time for heavy-lifting; a time for the community’s leaders to forget their personal agendas to come together on one platform and to speak in one voice. Forget the reactive battles you have fought thus far from attempting to roll back sanctions imposed on India in the wake of the Pokhran nuclear tests of May 1998, to opposing the sale of F-16 fighter aircraft to Pakistan.

As I write this, there are heartening signs that a movement on these lines is happening. Some leading Indian American political activists and organizations are coming together in a unified and bipartisan manner to launch a massive campaign to push through the deal on Capitol Hill; hopefully this initiative will gain momentum in the coming weeks.

Dubya was on target when in course of a speech in Cleveland, Ohio on March 20, he said, ’For too long, America and India were not partners in peace. We didn’t deal with each other because of the Cold War. And now is the time to set the Cold War behind us. It’s over folks. Let’s think about the next 30 years.

’And so my hope is some day, somebody will be asking a question, aren’t you glad old George W. thought about entering into a strategic relationship with India? And I believe it’s in our country’s interest that we have such a relationship.’

You said it, Dubya -- here is hoping the community is listening and acting<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Having posted the above article I would like to say that the Indian Americans are one of the richest minorities per capita. And yet it either has not realised it or it has let its private agendas to take control and make it impotent, perhaps the reason why we were enslaved for so long. I would like to ask Aziz Haniffa ...

1. What was Haniffa's position at the time of Modi visa episode ?
2. What is Haniffa's position in the California textbook episode ?

The senators/congressmen know from their experiences with #1 and #2 that Indian-Americans are not united and they can do as they please with them.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The senators/congressmen know from their experiences with #1 and #2 that Indian-Americans are not united and they can do as they please with them.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Good lesson. India deserve this.
I am glad atleast BC is saying it like the way it is. MMS should have come out and clearly stated what we have given up and what we have gained instead of us figuring out when white massas discuss the deal. While the rest has been highlighted in the original post the most important part to me is..

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->But while the US Congress, in open and closed-door hearings, is compelling the administration to provide evidence of tangible gains for America, the Manmohan Singh government faces no public scrutiny of its actions that put irrevocable fetters on India’s most important national asset — the nuclear deterrent.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

There is no clear document on what the deal is for the aam-aadmi. What has India gained and what has India committed. What is so compelling that India has offered to the US ? I am afraid that without such articulation by the GoI I will remain sceptical of this deal.


Originally posted by Ramana on BR..

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Five myths about the nuclear deal</b>
Stagecraft & Statecraft By Brahma Chellaney

The lack of transparency that surrounded the July 18, 2005 nuclear agreement-in-principle and the subsequent deal-making has come to haunt both sides domestically. But while the US Congress, in open and closed-door hearings, is compelling the administration to provide evidence of tangible gains for America, the Manmohan Singh government faces no public scrutiny of its actions that put irrevocable fetters on India’s most important national asset — the nuclear deterrent.
The texts of various arrangements have come from the US side, with the Indians left to negotiate within the defined framework. </b>The Prime Minister admitted in the Lok Sabha on August 3, 2005 that the July 18 accord’s “final draft came to me from the US side” after he had reached Washington. This, he went on to say, “held up our negotiations for about 12 to 15 hours” because he wanted the “support” of the Atomic Energy Commission chief, who was not in his delegation. Yet, after being summoned to Washington by the first available flight, the AEC chief was presented with a political fait accompli and asked to look merely at the language of the accord.

In similar fashion last week, the Americans handed the visiting Indian foreign secretary the text of what they want as the new bilateral civil nuclear cooperation pact. All the foreign secretary could do was to say that the US text needed “further examination.” It is always harder to negotiate when one side dictates the text and confines the other side to a defensive negotiating position centred on a bureaucratic haggle on words.

It is an open secret that the US dictated India’s civil-military separation plan, both by putting forward specific proposals and by orchestrating public pressure. The PM began haughtily, claiming, “It will be an autonomous Indian decision as to what is ‘civilian’ and what is ‘military.’ Nobody outside will tell us what is ‘civilian’ and what is ‘military’.” But he ended on a whimper, admitting that the US forced his hand on specific facilities.

He told the Lok Sabha on March 10 that rather than place them under international inspections, he “decided to permanently shut down the Cirus reactor in 2010” and dismember Apsara — Asia’s first research reactor — in order to “shift” its fuel core.
For the US, the deal holds multiple benefits — from getting a handle on India’s nuclear-weapons programme and leverage on Indian foreign policy to opening the way to lucrative reactor and arms sales.

<b>But for US revelations, the Indian public would not have known some of the commitments made by the PM — from promising to buy “as much as $5 billion” worth of US arms once the deal is implemented (according to a July 18, 2005 Pentagon briefing) to agreeing “to import eight nuclear reactors by 2012,” at least two of them from America, as disclosed by Condoleezza Rice in a recent op-ed. Each 1,000-megawatt reactor would cost India at least $1.8 billion — or 2.3 times the annual budget of the entire Indian nuclear power industry.</b>

In addition to giving the US for the first time “a transparent insight into India’s nuclear programme,” as Nick Burns puts it, the deal will help Washington oversee “nuclear balance” on the subcontinent. In the words of Burns’ boss, Dr Rice, “the nuclear balance in the region is a function of the political and military situation in the region. We are far more likely to be able to influence those regional dynamics from a position of strong relations with India and indeed with Pakistan.”

In fact, Joseph R. Biden, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he is “probably going to support” the deal because it has “succeeded in limiting the size and sophistication of India’s nuclear weapons programme and nuclear power programme.” This is as candid and objective an assessment as any American can offer.

The deal’s foreign-policy implications can be gauged just from the waiver-authority bill’s Section 1(b)(5), which binds India forever to support “international efforts to prevent the spread of enrichment and reprocessing technology.” By keeping the Damocles’ sword of waiver termination hanging perpetually over India’s head, the bill attempts to hold New Delhi to strict compliance with US policy towards “countries of proliferation concern” — a category of States for many years at the centre-stage of US foreign policy, with one such nation at present under US occupation and two others on the US hit-list. Section 1(b)(5) will eliminate India’s manoeuvring room with Iran, for example.

<b>After adding eight separate conditions in its waiver bill to hold India to good conduct, the White House is encouraging Congress to attach riders of its own, as long as they do not entail a renegotiation of the deal. The already-inserted clauses — one of which drags India through the backdoor into a treaty rejected by the Senate, the CTBT — farcically attempt to make New Delhi accountable to the US government and legislature. The bill’s test-ban clause actually imposes CTBT-plus obligations on India, tying its hands forever, with no exit option, and using the very phraseology the US opposed in the 1996 CTBT negotiations so as to have the loophole to conduct sub-kiloton and sub-critical tests.</b>

The deal also holds major economic benefits for the US, with Dr Rice voicing hope that it will create “3,000 to 5,000 new direct jobs in the US and about 10,000 to 15,000 indirect jobs in the US” just through nuclear commerce with India. In addition, US arms makers expect major Indian contracts, as underlined on March 2 by the Pentagon’s unusually explicit statement hailing the nuclear deal for opening “promising prospects” for big weapon sales, “whether in the realm of combat aircraft, helicopters, maritime patrol aircraft or naval vessels.” Lockheed Martin and Boeing are competing to sell 126 of their F-16s or F/A-18s in a potential $9-billion deal that would be India’s largest arms contract ever.

I<b>n sharp contrast, the deal puts India squarely on the debit side of the ledger. There is no credit, only debit, for India on decision-making autonomy, indigenous capability, foreign policy and finance. Deal-related sweeteners will cost it many billions of dollars, as it impoverishes itself by importing uneconomical power reactors and buying arms it can do without. For a nation that budgeted a paltry $160 million for missile work and $425 million for nuclear research and development last year, such costly imports will be good news only for corrupt politicians and those who thrive on commissions and consultancies, including some strategic analysts, former military officers and ex-bureaucrats.
In the absence of concrete benefits they can showcase, the few in India hawking the deal have taken to selling dreams to the country. The main force behind the deal — the PM — has offered the nation only clichés and stock assurances straight from the boilerplate of bureaucratic homily. Each articulated hope sounds more like a wish tied to myth.

<b>* Myth 1:</b> The deal will end India’s “isolation,” end discrimination and allow it to take its rightful place on the world stage. Such wishful thinking cannot make dreams come true. If anything, it shows that the PM’s foreign policy is guided not by reality but by the dream world he inhabits. The deal will not end discrimination against India or what the PM calls its “nuclear isolation.”

There will be no blanket lifting of the nuclear embargo against India. What the US has proposed is limited nuclear commerce with India, tightly regulated by its export-licensing requirements and subject to Indian “good behaviour.” India won’t get open access even to natural uranium supply. It will only be able to import externally determined quantities of natural uranium for indigenous reactors under international monitoring.

With or without the deal, India will stay in a third aberrant category — neither a formal nuclear power nor a non-nuclear nation, but a non-NPT State possessing nuclear weapons. The deal will only institutionalise India’s status in the anomalous third category, even as New Delhi accepts NPT norms and extends full support from outside to a troubled regime that won’t accept it as an equal or legitimate nuclear power.

<b>* Myth 2:</b> The way for India to meet its burgeoning energy demands is to import nuclear power reactors. The deal’s very rationale is fundamentally flawed because generating electricity from imported reactors dependent on imported fuel makes little economic or strategic sense. Such imports will be a path to energy insecurity and exorbitant costs. The PM is seeking to replicate in the energy sector the very mistake India has pursued on armaments. Now the world’s largest arms importer, India spends nearly $6 billion dollars every year on weapons imports, many of dubious value, while it neglects to build its own armament-production base. Should a poor India now compound that blunder by spending billions more to import overly expensive reactors when it can more profitably invest that money to commercially develop its own energy sources?

Even if India were to invest a whopping $27 billion dollars to increase its installed generating capacity by 15,000 megawatt through imported reactors, nuclear power will still make up a tiny share of its total electricity production, given that nuclear plants take exceptionally long to complete and the share of other energy sources is likely to rise faster. India could radically transform its energy situation if it were to invest such resources to tap its vast hydropower reserves — a source that comes with no fuel cost — and employ clean-coal and coal-to-liquids technologies to exploit its coal reserves, one of the largest in the world. Instead the PM wants India to subsidise the revival of the decrepit US nuclear power industry, which has not received a single reactor order in more than 30 years.

The promise of nuclear power in the US has dimmed because of the unappealing economics of new nuclear plants — a fact the PM turns a blind eye to.
Such is the capital-intensity of a nuclear plant that two-thirds or more of its costs are incurred upfront, before it is even commissioned. And while the international price of coal has dropped over the last two decades, the price of uranium has tripled just in the past 18 months.

Yet the itch to import reactors has been so irresistible that the PM signed a deal that actually compromises the defence of India and asks Indian taxpayers to fork out billions of dollars to put the nation firmly on the path to energy insecurity.

<b>* Myth 3</b>: Nuclear energy is clean. Official rhetoric has sought to portray nuclear energy as “clean” to help seduce public opinion. The proliferation-resistant light-water reactors (LWRs) that the deal allows India to import generate highly radioactive wastes. Although nuclear-generated power is free of carbon and greenhouse gases, the back-end of nuclear-fuel cycle is anything but clean, posing technological challenges and inestimable environmental costs.

Not only has America refused to adhere to the Kyoto Protocol’s mandatory greenhouse-gas reductions, it persists with its egregiously high discharge of fossil-fuel effluents. With just 4.5 per cent of the world’s population, it emits 23 per cent of the global greenhouse gases.

And although India has no obligation under the current Kyoto Protocol to reduce its relatively moderate emissions (it ranks 139 in the world in per capita emissions), the PM wants his developing nation to make up for a wealthy America’s disregard of the global environment. He told Lok Sabha on February 27, 2006: “While we have substantial reserves of coal, excessive dependence on coal-based energy has its own implications for our environment.” Put simply, he wants India to import US reactors while the US burns more coal.

Before touting nuclear energy to be clean or seeking to import new US reactors, the least the government can do is to resolve the safety and environmental concerns arising from the accumulating spent-fuel at the US-built Tarapur nuclear plant. The US broke the 1963 civil nuclear cooperation pact with India by amending its domestic law to halt all fuel and spare-parts supplies. In spite of such a bald-faced material breach and the expiry long ago of the 1963 pact, India has continued to exacerbate its spent-fuel problem at Tarapur by granting the US a right it didn’t have even if it had honoured the pact — a veto on any Indian reprocessing of the fuel waste.

<b>* Myth 4</b>: Nuclear energy will reduce India’s oil dependence. The truth is it won’t cut India’s oil imports. India does not use oil to generate electricity. In fact, petroleum is no longer used to propel electric generators in most countries. Even the US now employs only a small percentage of its oil supply to fuel its electricity-generating plants. Only standby generators for homes and offices in India use diesel fuel. Yet the PM has speciously linked the deal to “concomitant advantages for all in terms of reduced pressure on oil prices…”

In any case, India cannot correct its current oil reliance on the Persian Gulf region by fashioning a new dependency on a tiny nuclear-supply cartel made up of a few State-guided firms. While oil is freely purchasable on world markets, the global nuclear reactor and fuel business is the most politically regulated commerce in the world, with no sanctity of contract. Without having loosened its bondage to oil exporters, India is being yoked to the nuclear cartel.

<b>* Myth 5</b>: The deal paves the way for removal of all US technology controls against India. The most onerous technology sanctions India has endured for long are not in the nuclear realm but centre on advanced and dual-use technologies. Where export controls against India can be relaxed through executive action, such as on high technology or in the civilian space sector, the US has dragged its feet.

But where Congressional action is needed, it has concluded a nuclear deal, wringing a heavy price out of India. This shows that the US will use every export control it has in force as a bargaining chip against India.

<b>Against this background, the PM has been unable to build a political consensus in favour of the deal, although he had publicly declared on July 20, 2005, that “we can move forward only on the basis of a broad national consensus.”</b> Spinning reality thus has become the favourite official pursuit, even as millions of dollars are being squandered to lobby US lawmakers to approve a deal that puts qualitative and quantitative ceilings on India’s deterrent.  By making India answerable to the US through unique, one-sided obligations, the deal makes a true strategic partnership with the US less likely.
Manmohan is an appointed PM. His duty is to swing tail around Madame. Madame is from Italy. Her devotion is towards European agenda. Both have no responsibility towards India.

There was no debate in Parliament. These jokers had made India there own personal property.
After looking at the debate, I am now 99% sure the deal will go through. A lot of the democrats like Boxer talking crap is just to please the lobbyists like the Naga terrorists, White far-left groups etc..
Eventually, even she will vote yes after throwing her tantrums.

The establishment knows that not passing this deal (which only treats India as equal to China in selling Nuclear technology), will have strong negative consequences for ties with India in the medium to long term.

<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Apr 9 2006, 03:28 AM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Apr 9 2006, 03:28 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Manmohan is an appointed PM. His duty is to swing tail around Madame. Madame is from Italy. Her devotion is towards European agenda. Both have no responsibility towards India. 

There was no debate in Parliament. These jokers had made India there own personal property.
xposting from BR..

Its amazing that GoI doesnt feel like issuing such clarifications. We need some foreigners to tell us the whole story. Saran in the meantime is issuing innane statements -> oh you see, its the yankee law and that cant be binding on yindoos.


<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>U.S. Would Assure India Fuel Even If Delhi Tests Nuclear Weapons</b>

By David Ruppe
Global Security Newswire

WASHINGTON — The U.S.-Indian nuclear trade agreement proposed by the Bush administration would assure New Delhi of a continued supply of nuclear reactor fuel even if it resumes nuclear weapons testing, a senior U.S. official said yesterday (see GSN, April 6).

India has insisted upon the “fuel assurances” arrangement in negotiations, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns told Global Security Newswire following an event promoting the deal on Capitol Hill.

“It was a major issue of the negotiations,” said Burns, who led U.S. negotiations on the deal. “<b>I think that was reassuring to them as we stepped up to the final negotiations.”</b>

Critics of the agreement are calling the provision a fundamental flaw, saying it diminishes any penalty India would pay for future testing.

“To me, this is the most egregious aspect of the deal. We would be obliged to help India find fuel elsewhere after it tests nuclear weapons, after imposing sanctions due to our public law,” Michael Krepon, president emeritus of the Henry L. Stimson Center said by e-mail.

“I think it’s sort of smoke and mirrors,” said Henry Sokolski, director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center and a former Defense Department nonproliferation official.

The fuel assurance arrangement “kind of overrides everything, because it reduces the amount of risk for India to proceed to test,” he said.

“It reduces regret to nearly zero,” Sokolski added.

Burns said officials negotiated the arrangement with the expectation the deal would last.  “India’s a law-abiding nation. It’s a democracy and India’s a trustworthy nation.   So we’re not going into this deal looking for the five ways to get out of it. We’re going into this deal to complete it and to continue it and sustain it.”

The United States cut off contracted nuclear fuel supplies to India before, in 1980, after Congress prohibited nuclear cooperation with countries that tested atomic weapons and lacked international safeguards over all their nuclear facilities.

That 1978 law continues to bar U.S. nuclear trade with India because of its ongoing weapons program and nuclear tests in 1974 and 1998. India also is restricted from nuclear trade with most of the world’s nuclear technology exporters, through the Nuclear Suppliers Group, because of its nuclear weapons program.

The Bush administration last month outlined a bilateral agreement that requires the United States to press the Nuclear Suppliers Group into waiving its restrictions on India, and press Congress to exempt India from the U.S. restrictions. India has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

In implementing legislation forwarded to Congress last month, the administration wrote that U.S nuclear exports to India would be blocked again if India tested another nuclear device.

However, in a written agreement as part of a deal to ensure the continuity of international inspections in India, the United States pledged four measures to “guard against any disruption of fuel supplies,” including by supporting an Indian effort to develop a nuclear fuel strategic reserve and to arrange for foreign supplies if U.S. ones were cut off.

“We’ve agreed to set up a council of advisers — India and the United States and other countries — so that if there is ever a threat of interruption of [U.S.] supply, those countries could meet to figure out how to maintain supply to India,” Burns said during a March 2 press conference in New Delhi

He did not note at the time that the assurances would carry even if India resumed testing.

<b>Fuel Supplies Were Cut Off Before</b>

India required the fuel assurances in exchange for its commitment to allow permanent international safeguards on whichever nuclear facilities it designates as civilian. Fourteen of New Delhi’s 22 reactors would be placed under International Atomic Energy Agency supervision under the plan, while eight would be designated as military sites and not be placed under safeguards.

Burns said Indian leaders were concerned about a potential replay of the U.S. fuel cutoff to India’s Tarapur reactors after New Delhi conducted its first nuclear test in 1974.

The United States in 1963 had agreed to supply India with fuel until 1993, in exchange for IAEA safeguards on the reactors. Congressional restrictions passed in 1978, however, required an end to fuel sales and other nuclear cooperation due to the test and because India would not accept safeguards on all of its nuclear materials.

The United States ended nuclear cooperation with India in 1980. France began supplying fuel to New Delhi after the Reagan administration in 1983 negotiated a three-way deal in which India agreed to put the Tarapur facility under safeguards.

Sokolski said that future testing, after the Nuclear Suppliers Group restrictions are lifted and India has gained access to foreign supplies of nuclear fuel, is a distinct possibility.

“There are a lot of technical reasons why they’ve got to do it. Now they’re saying they want to catch up with the Chinese, or at least some of the [Indian] hawks are — a 400-plus minimum of weapons in 10 years,” he said.

“You’re going to want to go thermonuclear, they can’t do that without testing,” he said, referring to a type of nuclear weapon potentially hundreds of times more powerful than the supposed fission weapons India tested in 1998.

Sokolski said some U.S. former “advisers and people who served as ambassadors who are lobbying for the agreement” have made statements that “make it very clear that people in the councils of our administration think that maybe India getting more weapons and better rockets is something that we need to embrace.”

Indian officials have suggested they have no plans for significantly expanding their arsenal. If “we remain committed to a credible minimum deterrent, if our posture so far has been one of restraint and responsibility not disputed even by our critics, there is no reason why we should suddenly change now,” Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said in Washington last month.

However, Indian negotiators resisted requirements to cap the nation’s nuclear weapons fissile material production. Experts say the nuclear material safeguards regime India has proposed for the deal would enable an expansion of its nuclear weapons production capability from as many as 10 to as many as 50 weapons per year. India is estimated to have up to 200 weapons.

India also resisted swearing off future nuclear weapons testing, favoring instead a voluntary moratorium, Burns wrote in a written statement to Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) in November.

“Based on our interactions with the Indian government, we believe that additional conditions such as implementing a moratorium on fissile material production, ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty [CTBT], and/or joining the NPT as a non-nuclear weapon state ‘would likely be deal-breakers,’” he wrote.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, testifying before Congress Wednesday, said India resisted full safeguards as part of the deal because it wanted an ability to expand its program in the future.

“They want to reserve the possibility, given the neighborhood that they live in, and given the politics that they have engaged in, the politically adversarial relationships that they’ve had in that region, to increase their strategic program,” she said.

“But I would again note that the restraint has been considerable. It remains a relatively small program,” she added.

Burns said yesterday he believes India is negotiating the deal out of genuine interest in civil nuclear cooperation with the United States.

“We believe that India is going into this particular arrangement because it wants to increase its civil-nuclear, it needs the investment and technology, and needs to have it legally permissible under U.S. and international laws. So there’s an incentive there for India to maintain the deal, as there is for us,” he said.

“We’re going into [the deal] with the glass three-quarters full, not three-quarters empty,” he said.

<b>India Would Not Be Constrained</b> :twisted:

Indian officials have sought to reassure domestic critics that the Bush administration’s proposed implementing legislation would not obligate India to forgo nuclear weapons testing forever. Some of those critics have expressed concern that India would be overly constrained by the deal.

According to former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee yesterday, as reported by The Times of India, “This bill, when passed, will convert a voluntary moratorium on further tests by India into a legally binding commitment, for all times to come, without any possibility of withdrawal under special circumstances, as provided for in the CTBT. This position is not acceptable.”

“India should retain the right to conduct nuclear tests if any other country, such as China on Pakistan, were to do so,” he reportedly said.

“When non-testing in perpetuity becomes a condition under U.S. law for Washington’s help — and that of the Nuclear Suppliers Group — with civilian nuclear technology, it is tantamount to India agreeing to follow the CTBT and limit further development of its nuclear arsenal,” according to a front-page commentary in the Calcutta newspaper The Telegraph on March 18.

While future testing could end U.S.-Indian nuclear cooperation in accordance with U.S. law, Indian Foreign Secretary Saran said at an event in Washington last month, India would not be legally barred from resuming testing by U.S. law or the proposed deal.

It is a matter of existing U.S. law “that if there is a state that is exploding a nuclear device, then that would trigger off an end to U.S. cooperation with that country. As a part of U.S. law that is fine.   It is not a part of an India-U.S. treaty or understanding,” he said.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--><!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
xposting from BR..

I am glad Ramana posted this. Some folks seem to be too lost in neutron counting..

And Saran better clarify using better language then he used last time when he replied to ABV's concern.

<!--QuoteBegin-"ramana"+-->QUOTE("ramana")<!--QuoteEBegin-->Welcome back Fareed bhai. We thought we lost you to the other side. Need you to be the balancer your dad was.
You have greater role in the future than the marginal one here.

The US Admins were never ready to deal with the NDA period. All those rounds of talks were an indicator for that. The endless rounds of chai biskoot were a run up to this. The NDA did ot commit troops in Iraq for that would have brought the GOAT into India. The Islamic fundoos that India has are IRoP inspired and not driven by ummah zeal. I do not see any chance of Indian troops in any Uncles adventures unless its in non Islamic areas for that will lead to fratricidal wars in India.

I think as people are thinking about the deal the testing aspect is now better understood. Acharya is right the FBR was a non issue that was blown up and the crumb thrown in as a tactic to show 'hard negotiations' by India. Its like the buyer insisting on your throwing in the bedroom furniture as condition to buying the house and later settling for a price markdown. The bedroom furniture was never part of the deal at all. Same with FBR. It was never part of any civilian agreement.

The capping of the tests is a great acheivement of the US. To understand this please go over the record. On May 13, 1998 after the five tests India announced a voluntary moratarium which was the same position that was taken by all the P-5. Recall the CTBT was dead as a door knob. The only commitment that the P-5 had vis a vis testing was voluntary. All of them except UK, France (they dont have tests sites and have agreements with US to share test data) maintain their test sites in readiness.
After numerous rounds of talks President Clinton, visited India in March 2000, and there was joint statement by ABV and Clinton that the voluntary test moratarium by both parties would be in place. In the July  18 agreement again the voluntary moratarium was reaaffirmed.
Now in the legislation this 'nuclear detonation' moratarium is being formally linked to fuel supply for civilian reactors. It is besides the point that in the past the US has cut off fuel after POKI. At that time India was a non-nuclear power. Now it is a nuclear power. The earlier cutoff was a proliferation measure to halt the spread of nuclear weapons. Now its an arms control measure to halt the technological progress of Indian arms. This very important and amounts to coercion by backdoor- sort of holding a loaded gun to ensure good behavior. This cannot be the basis of a strategic alliance.

Yes ABV has not articlulated the position very well. But that does not negate the position. Yes he spoke to the press. The reaon why is the Lok Sabha is in recess till May 10th. How can he express his views in Lok Sabha when it is in recess except through the press? I think Saran being a babu is seeing  the strict interpretation of the letter of the agreements and the US laws. There is more than the letter of the agreement and the laws. It is the consequences of these actions on India.

I wont be nasty and just throw up the issue without proposing a solution. Since India does not want to immediately test and only retain the option, I think the Indian side should say that they will retain the option to reevaluate the moratarium if there is another breakout. For example, if the break out is by a non-NWS state it should be evaluated whether it has impact on the security posture of India. In other words if NoKo tests it has little impact unless its a IRoPian weapon test. If its Iran then it has to be evaluated as to the sophisitication.
If a P-5 state breaks out then again the impact to India has to be addressed. It cannot be held hostage to any fuel agreement.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Mar 30 2006, 07:02 AM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Mar 30 2006, 07:02 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->build atleast 1000-2000 nuclear weapons. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Does it make sense to have 1000-2000 weapons? From where we will get material to build so many weapon? Do we have Uranium?
Minimum deterrence is good enough for now.
<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->Some may recall the adage "Electricity is a good servent and bad master". That is as true for power, money and nuclear fissile material. 1000-2000 weapons is shooting on own foot and IMHO most un-wise in current context.

BTW India has 8000Kg of outside safeguard Pu. After seperation those 8 PHWR reactors will generate 660Kg Weapon Grade Pu/ Year. (This is not even taking PFBR in account). Strategic weapon takes ~3Kg/wpn.

That is all power. The key question however is how best to make use of it. Thus defining objectives is the most important question, albiet not the most charming question that most people are willing to spend quality time on. Dissing IRoP is more enjoyable pastime; but that does not add drop of water where it matters most.
My feeling is US/P5 is doing South Africa on India by back door.
I always trusted Babus but current Indian rulers are not trust worthy. Not sure how much they got paid to sell India's security.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>BJP says nuke deal will cripple India's deterrence</b> 
Agencies/ Ranchi
The BJP today asked the Centre to withdraw from the nuclear deal with the United States saying the pact in its present form would cripple the country's nuclear capabilities.

At a news conference here, party chief Rajnath Singh said the government should press the US to grant India the same waiver as given to China.

"This treaty is complicated and intriguing as it will require the country to act in accordance with US wishes while addressing security needs," Singh remarked.

The BJP leader, whose Bharat Suraksha Yatra entered its sixth day, said there should be no compromise on India's sovereignty and independent decision-making.

"India being a sovereign state has the right to decide as to what kind of nuclear deterrent New Delhi needs in respect of international security perception. Since India has already faced four attacks from Pakistan and one from China in the past it is all the more necessary to keep New Delhi's deterrent capabilities updated," he said.

India, he pointed out, was at present free to conduct nuclear tests as and when it felt necessary because it was not a signatory to the CTBT and the NPT yet.

<b>"But the Indo-US nuclear energy deal will cripple India's nuclear capabilities,"</b> he warned.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>BJP turns against N-deal </b>
New Delhi, April 11: Former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has personally initiated a rethink in BJP policy on the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement, with a decision now being taken to pressure the Manmohan Singh government to withdraw from the nuclear deal in its present form.

<b>A meeting at Mr Vajpayee’s residence, attended by former external affairs ministers Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha as well as former national security adviser Brajesh Mishra, discussed the developments and agreed that the constant changes being introduced into the initial agreement were simply not acceptable.</b>

Former deputy prime minister L.K. Advani and BJP president Rajnath Singh could not attend the meeting as they are out on their respective yatras. However, Mr Rajnath Singh made it clear in Ranchi on Monday that the BJP was no longer inclined to extend even nominal support for the agreement, maintaining that the Centre should withdraw from the agreement with the United States as the pact would cripple India’s nuclear capabilities.

<b>The BJP is now expected to strategise its opposition to the nuclear agreement and take it up in the forthcoming session of Parliament. Former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha told this correspondent that the party was very concerned about “the manner in which the agreement is being changed every day.” </b>

He said that any ambiguity about the BJP position had been cleared after the recent statement by <b>Mr Vajpayee, where he had said that the concessions being given by the government to US demands would eventually ensure that “the course of action of the Government of India, in future, will be determined not by laws passed by the Parliament of India or by international covenants to which we are party, but by the laws framed by the US Congress.”</b>

The BJP will also now be opposing the agreement from the national security point of view, with statements by US officials about India’s minimum nuclear deterrent striking new notes of alarm. Mr Rajnath Singh also stated, in what is clearly building up into a new offensive against the nuclear agreement:<b> “India being a sovereign state has the right to decide as to what kind of nuclear deterrent New Delhi needs in respect of international security perceptions. </b>

Since India has already faced four attacks from Pakistan and one from China in the past it is all the more necessary to keep New Delhi’s deterrent capabilities updated<b>.” He said that India was at present free to conduct nuclear tests as and when it felt necessary as it was not a signatory to either the CTBT or the NPT. “But the Indo-US nuclear deal will cripple India’s nuclear capabilities,”</b> he said.

There is a great deal of disquiet in India’s political establishment, including sections of the Congress Party, about the manner in which the nuclear agreement is being negotiated by the government with the United States. Sources said that even those supporting good and stronger relations with Washington were now worried about the manner in which the US was being able to influence the government to concede new demands.

The BJP president went so far as to say:<b> “This treaty is complicated and intriguing as it will require the country to act in accordance with US wishes while addressing security needs.”</b>

The government is worried about opposition from the BJP, as it could now be totally isolated in its support for the nuclear deal. A strong pitch is being made to counter allegations of new conditionalities having been accepted by the government, with foreign secretary Shyam Saran being directed to give interviews to the media.

US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, in the government assessment here, was able to ride over some of the objections of US legislators to the agreement. <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>But her sales pitch in Washington has created unease here, with the BJP withdrawing its conditional support for the deal to what will now be open opposition. </span>

I seriously dont know what to think of this.
I am too far ahead of time.
China today has a few hundred, but in the future they will have several thousand. The Asian Nuclear buildup won't really kick in until 2030 or so, but I can guarantee you that the Indian Government at that time will be looking at these numbers, but for now it's not required.

<!--QuoteBegin-Arun_S+Apr 11 2006, 02:00 PM-->QUOTE(Arun_S @ Apr 11 2006, 02:00 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Mar 30 2006, 07:02 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Mudy @ Mar 30 2006, 07:02 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->build atleast 1000-2000 nuclear weapons. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Does it make sense to have 1000-2000 weapons? From where we will get material to build so many weapon? Do we have Uranium?
Minimum deterrence is good enough for now.
<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->Some may recall the adage "Electricity is a good servent and bad master". That is as true for power, money and nuclear fissile material. 1000-2000 weapons is shooting on own foot and IMHO most un-wise in current context.

BTW India has 8000Kg of outside safeguard Pu. After seperation those 8 PHWR reactors will generate 660Kg Weapon Grade Pu/ Year. (This is not even taking PFBR in account). Strategic weapon takes ~3Kg/wpn.

That is all power. The key question however is how best to make use of it. Thus defining objectives is the most important question, albiet not the most charming question that most people are willing to spend quality time on. Dissing IRoP is more enjoyable pastime; but that does not add drop of water where it matters most.
India rejects US proposal on N-testing

April 17, 2006

India Monday rejected US proposal for a cap on its nuclear testing saying such a provision has no place in a proposed bilateral agreement.

New Delhi, however, made it clear that it was committed to the unilateral moratorium on further tests.

A draft agreement sent by the US stipulated several elements, one of which said cooperation will be discontinued if India were to detonate a nuclear explosive device.

"In preliminary discussions on these elements, India has already conveyed to the US that such a provision has no place in the proposed bilateral agreement and that India is bound only by what is contained in the July 18 Joint Statement, that is, continuing its commitment to a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna told reporters when asked about the American proposal.
"The US had shared with India some weeks ago a preliminary draft agreement on Indo-US civil nuclear cooperation under Article 123 of the US Atomic Energy Act," he said.

India's position on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is well-known and continues to remain valid. New Delhi maintains that it will sign the treaty only if it is universal with all countries dismantling their nuclear arsenal.
Under the July 18, 2005, Joint Statement, India and the US are to negotiate a bilateral pact for trade between the two countries in hi-technology material and technology.

The bilateral deal, which is to be negotiated separately, will provide a framework under which the US companies can cooperate with Indian nuclear establishments, including supply of uranium fuel.

The US is hoping to have annual trade worth millions of dollars through this agreement.

India has already presented a plan to separate its civilian and military nuclear facilities on the basis of which the Bush administration is seeking change of US laws.

The legislation in this regard is currently being debated in the US Congress. The nuclear deal, which was clinched on March 2 during the visit of US President George W Bush to India, also makes it incumbent on India to negotiate a safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency. <b>In the July 18 Joint Statement, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh conveyed that India would reciprocally agree to be ready to assume the same responsibilities and practices and acquire the same benefits and advantages as other leading countries with advanced nuclear technology, such as the United States.</b>

These responsibilities and practices include signing and adhering to an additional protocol with respect to civilian nuclear facilities; continuing India's unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing and working with the US for the conclusion of a multilateral Fissile Material Cutt-Off Treaty.

The US president, in turn, committed to seek agreement from Congress to adjust US laws and policies and said that the US will work with friends and allies to adjust international regimes to enable full civil nuclear energy cooperation and trade with India.
US may have undermined NPT by N-deal with India: Bangla official

April 17, 2006 20:42 IST

The United States may have undermined the Non Proliferation Treaty by its civilian nuclear energy deal with India, a top advisor to the prime minister of Bangladesh said.

Bangladesh is wondering why the Bush administration "rewarded" India, which is not a signatory to the NPT and has developed nuclear weapons, Reaz Rahman has been quoted as saying in Monday's edition of The Washington Times.

"You have opened the door for people to say 'is the non proliferation programme valid any longer?'. Our concern is that we are willy-nilly part of this whole process because if it ever escalates, we will be decimated," Rahman told editors and reporters of the paper during a visit to Washington last week.

The Bangladesh official also pressed Washington to reduce tariffs on garments coming from that country.

Although Rahman played down the presence of militants in his country and the recent arrest of two top local terrorist leaders, Bangladeshi Ambassador to Washington Shamsheer Chowdhury warned that any rise in poverty could widen the recruiting pool, the Times said.

"In a scenario of layoffs and factory closings, these unemployed would be easy pickings for terrorists," the ambassador said.
India won't commit to US on atomic testing

Mon Apr 17, 10:00 AM ET

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India said on Monday it would make no explicit commitment to the United States not to conduct fresh nuclear tests as part of a landmark civilian atomic cooperation agreement.

New Delhi has refused to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), calling it discriminatory, but it did announce a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing after it conducted atomic tests in 1998.

The civilian nuclear agreement was finalized when
President George W. Bush visited India last month.

But a draft of the deal framed since suggested that the pact would be discontinued if India tested a nuclear device, the Indian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"In preliminary discussions on these elements, India has already conveyed to the U.S. that such a provision has no place in the proposed bilateral agreement," the statement said.
<span style='color:blue'>
"India is bound only by what is contained in the July 18 joint statement, that is, continuing its commitment to a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing," it said. This was an agreement in principle on the deal reached when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Washington last year.</span>

The U.S. Congress must approve legislation to seal the deal and India has said that a decision by Congress to block it would hit warming ties between the two countries.

Under the deal, energy-hungry India will receive U.S. nuclear technology -- including reactors and nuclear fuel -- and in return separate its military and civilian facilities, and open up some atomic plants to international inspections.

India has already made it clear that the pact would not limit its nuclear weapons program.
<span style='color:red'>
Some analysts say Washington was attempting to get India to commit indirectly to the CTBT's aims through the clause on discontinuing nuclear cooperation if New Delhi tested a device again.</span>
That is again a very confusing statement. What the heck does it mean ? Why cant GoI just come and say this deal is independent of what we are going to do. We will be as responsible as we have been in the past - no more, no less. Why the heck is that stupid moratorium (unilateral whatever) is being mentioned as part of this deal ?
PM gives Imam delegation the Iran pill
[ Tuesday, April 18, 2006 11:19:44 pmTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

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NEW DELHI: Though the political fallout of opposing Iran's nuclear programme is worrying the government, PM Manmohan Singh on Tuesday unequivocally told a delegation of Muslim leaders that Tehran's nuclear ambitions were not in India's interest.

While denying that India's foreign policy was guided by US diktat, Singh drove home the message that Iran's clandestine nuclear programme had existed for several years and New Delhi did not gain from having another nuclear weapons state in the neighbourhood.

The PM chose to point out that unlike India, Iran had chosen to sign the NPT which meant that there were a set of rules that Tehran needed to observe. "Iran should have all the rights and duties of a signatory state to NPT," he told the delegation, which was led by the Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid, Ahmed Bukhari.

Singh sought to make it clear that even though both India and US have taken the same position on Iran at IAEA, the independent view of his government was that Iran's turning nuclear was just not in India's interest anyway.

The PM's plain talk in the midst of the ongoing assembly elections in states with significant Muslim populations seems indicative of Singh's determination to set the record straight over allegations levelled by Left parties, regional outfits like SP and Muslim groups that he had followed the US trajectory on Iran.

With mounting evidence that Pakistan's rogue nuclear scientist A Q Khan had helped Iran's nuclear programme, possibly with the covert blessings of Pakistan's military leaders, Indian concerns over the middle-eastern nation acquiring a bomb are proving to be all too real.

Strong speculation that Khan may have been of crucial assistance to Iran in setting up high-speed centrifuges has strengthened India's case against Iran.

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