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Nuclear Thread - 2
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Nuclear deal: Is it a dead end or the endgame? </b>- By Dilip Lahiri
All the sound and fury of the arguments for and against the Indo-US nuclear deal, and particularly the separation of Indian nuclear facilities needed for our weapons programme from those purely to be used for civilian purposes, have been made moot by the US proposal for the early conclusion of a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT ), preferably during 2006. It scarcely makes sense for senior officials of both sides to meet every other week in various parts of the world for tortuous negotiations on the separation list, or for us to negotiate a safeguard agreement with the IAEA for our civilian facilities if an FMCT will soon place all our nuclear facilities on the civilian list by a prohibition on the further production of fissile materials for weapons purposes. We have been in this situation before, 10 years ago. At that time, India was committed to sign on to the FMCT, whose conclusion appeared imminent, and the only rearguard action open to India was to try to gain some more time to produce sufficient fissile material to provide a margin of safety for our then nascent nuclear weapons programme. We were then saved by the bell, with the Chinese insisting on a linkage of the FMCT with the demilitarisation of outer space, which was unacceptable to the US.

Our 1998 nuclear weapon tests have changed our situation. Our declared objective now is to build up a credible minimum deterrent. But 10 years down the road from our close shave with the FMCT in its earlier avatar, we seem to feel that we are still far from accumulating enough fissile material for our proposed credible minimum deterrent. And yet we committed, under the Indo-US agreement, to work with the US towards the early conclusion of an FMCT. Can the US be faulted for concluding that, barring the requirements of a viable negotiating position, we felt our plutonium stocks were sufficient for our credible minimum deterrent, and for being bemused at the heavy weather we have been since making in the separation negotiations? Can we rely on the Chinese to bail us out again, while we continue to chant our earlier mantra of the requirement of a non discriminatory multilateral verification mechanism for the FMCT and the need to link it with the venerable Rajiv Gandhi action plan for nuclear disarmament? The US is unlikely to view such a stance as being in line with our bilateral commitment to work with them for the early conclusion of an FMCT. Having parted company with the nuclear have-nots, we should not count on their support if we try to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds. Countries like South Africa and Brazil would be quick to pull the rug out from under us, and expose the disingenuousness of our arguments.

What is the US up to with this move? The US has made a substantial investment in the Indo-US nuclear deal, having gone out on a limb against the prevailing NPT orthodoxy to make an exception for India. The US diplomatic style is also not known for infructuous time wasting and it seems difficult to believe that US leaders and senior officials would have spent so many days traipsing to Delhi and elsewhere and countless hours in strenuous negotiations with India on a separation agreement and in lobbying the US Congress, if the principal objective of the nuclear deal with India was to immobilise India’s fissile material production capacity with an FMCT. It is possible that the aim is to put pressure on Iran and other potential proliferants, and to show up China as the main obstruction to an essential step for nuclear weapons limitation and eventual disarmament.

It would accordingly be politic to have a frank talk with the US when both sides can lay their cards on the table. The US might still be under the misapprehension that, for all our kicking and screaming, our agreement to work for the early conclusion of an FMCT means that we are prepared to live with our current stockpile. If so, we should disabuse them, and make it quite clear that while we could go along with early negotiations on an FMCT, we could only sign on after accumulating a sufficient stockpile for a credible minimum deterrent. For this to be possible, the provisions for the coming into force of the FMCT must provide us sufficient leeway. It would be expedient at the same time, to avoid later misunderstandings, to delineate the clear limits that this consideration would place on our commitment under the Indo-US deal to work towards an early FMCT during negotiations in the Geneva Commission on Disarmament. The US should also be asked to explain credibly what advantage, if any, it sees in continuing at this time with our bilateral negotiations on a separation list of our nuclear facilities.

On the other hand, if we find the US really serious about getting an FMCT in place within a year or two, and they are not prepared to accommodate our concerns about the size of our stockpile, we would have come to a parting of ways and should be prepared to kiss the Indo-US deal goodbye. While the deal itself is very beneficial for us, both politically, and in removing annoying restrictions, the heavens will not fall if it gets aborted. We would be left no worse than we were before, and we have learned to live with these restrictions since 1974. Politically, the principle has already been won, with the US executive, at its highest level, signing a bilateral agreement on normalising nuclear relations with India with the explicit recognition that we shall continue to maintain a non-civilian programme. France, the UK, Russia and others are also on board.

We could legitimately declare victory and walk away. During the FMCT negotiations, we could confine our efforts to the provisions for its entry into force, seeking to ensure that its provisions would only come into effect for us on our signature. If we cannot achieve this, and a vote is forced, we should be prepared to vote against and stay out. Of course we shall be isolated and encounter much huffing and puffing. But we have faced worse in 1998. And, if we are serious about building a credible minimum deterrent, and we really do not have enough plutonium for this yet, there is no alternative.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Sources said some of the new conditions slapped by the United States for implementation of the deal were “harsh” but India would have to accept them or the US Congress may otherwise not clear the deal.
Anyone can slap India when jokers, spineless and idiots are in power.
<b>'India capable of making 50 N-warheads a year'</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->A top former intelligence official has said India would have the capacity to make about 50 nuclear warheads a year as it would be able to retain six reactors outside safeguards envisaged under the Indo-US nuclear agreement.

"Under the deal, India shall retain six unsafeguarded reactors and shall have the capability of producing nearly 50 nuclear warheads per year," JK Sinha, former Additional Secretary in the Research and Analyses Wing (RAW) of the Cabinet Secretariat, has said.

Sinha said the assurance of supply of nuclear fuel from the US as well as the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) would free India's existing capacity to produce highly enriched uranium and plutonium for its nuclear weapons programme.
Why this canary is singing now? Agenda is clear to change public perception before monsoon session when opposition may go balastic on nuclear deal. Anyway he is lying, prove me wrong.
Rethinking Nuclear Safeguards


By Mohamed ElBaradei
Wednesday, June 14, 2006; Page A23

In regard to nuclear proliferation and arms control, the fundamental problem is clear: Either we begin finding creative, outside-the-box solutions or the international nuclear safeguards regime will become obsolete.

For this reason, I have been calling for new approaches in a number of areas. First, a recommitment to disarmament -- a move away from national security strategies that rely on nuclear weapons, which serve as a constant stimulus for other nations to acquire them. Second, tightened controls on the proliferation-sensitive parts of the nuclear fuel cycle. By bringing multinational control to any operation that enriches uranium or separates plutonium, we can lower the risk of these materials being diverted to weapons. A parallel step would be to create a mechanism to ensure a reliable supply of reactor fuel to bona fide users, including a fuel bank under control of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The third area has been more problematic: how to deal creatively with the three countries that remain outside the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT): Pakistan and India, both holders of nuclear arsenals, and Israel, which maintains an official policy of ambiguity but is believed to be nuclear-weapons-capable. However fervently we might wish it, none of these three is likely to give up its nuclear weapons or the nuclear weapons option outside of a global or regional arms control framework. Our traditional strategy -- of treating such states as outsiders -- is no longer a realistic method of bringing these last few countries into the fold.

Which brings us to a current controversy -- the recent agreement between President Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh regarding the exchange of nuclear technology between the United States and India.

Some insist that the deal will primarily enable India to divert more uranium to produce more weapons -- that it rewards India for having developed nuclear weapons and legitimizes its status as a nuclear weapons state. By contrast, some in India argue that it will bring the downfall of India’s nuclear weapons program, because of new restrictions on moving equipment and expertise between civilian and military facilities.

Clearly, this is a complex issue on which intelligent people can disagree. Ultimately, perhaps, it comes down to a balance of judgment. But to this array of opinions, I would offer the following:

First, under the NPT, there is no such thing as a "legitimate" or "illegitimate" nuclear weapons state. The fact that five states are recognized in the treaty as holders of nuclear weapons was regarded as a matter of transition; the treaty does not in any sense confer permanent status on those states as weapons holders. Moreover, the U.S.-India deal is neutral on this point -- it does not add to or detract from India’s nuclear weapons program, nor does it confer any "status," legal or otherwise, on India as a possessor of nuclear weapons. India has never joined the NPT; it has therefore not violated any legal commitment, and it has never encouraged nuclear weapons proliferation.

Also, it is important to consider the implications of denying this exchange of peaceful nuclear technology. As a country with one-sixth of the world’s population, India has an enormous appetite for energy -- and the fastest-growing civilian nuclear energy program in the world. With this anticipated growth, it is important that India have access to the safest and most advanced technology.

India clearly enjoys close cooperation with the United States and many other countries in a number of areas of technology and security. It is treated as a valued partner, a trusted contributor to international peace and security. It is difficult to understand the logic that would continue to carve out civil nuclear energy as the single area for noncooperation.

Under the agreement, India commits to following the guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, an organization of states that regulates access to nuclear material and technology. India would bring its civilian nuclear facilities under international safeguards. India has voiced its support for the conclusion of a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty. The strong support of both India and the United States -- as well as all other nuclear weapons states -- is sorely needed to make this treaty a reality.

The U.S.-India agreement is a creative break with the past that, handled properly, will be a first step forward for both India and the international community. India will get safe and modern technology to help lift more than 500 million people from poverty, and it will be part of the international effort to combat nuclear terrorism and rid our world of nuclear weapons.

As we face the future, other strategies must be found to enlist Pakistan and Israel as partners in nuclear arms control and nonproliferation. Whatever form those solutions take, they will need to address not only nuclear weapons but also the much broader range of security concerns facing each country. No one ever said controlling nuclear weapons was going to be easy. It will take courage and tenacity in large doses, a great deal more outside-of-the-box thinking, and a sense of realism. And it will be worth the effort.

<i>The writer is director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He and the agency won the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize. </i>
you know the more i read about them, the more i get convinced that indians have been hoodwinked by TWO false air crash stories.

one is ofcourse the farce of the Netaji crash... and the other is that of Homi Jahangir Bhaba. somehow indian govt doent seem to have the guts to challenge the western version that he was killed in an air crash. there is a very high likelyhod that he was killed by exploding the plane, or some such. USA/cia may have helped pakistan plant a hikacker in the plane who would force the pilot to ram the plane into the Mt Blanc (thats the official "story" - that the plane crashed into the top of Mt Blanc)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>National Democratic Alliance</b>
New Delhi
20th June, 2006

Mahamahim Rashtrapatiji,

We write to express our serious concern at the manner and the contents of the nuclear deal being finalized by the Government of India.

<b>The separation of our nuclear plants and facilities, as between civilian and military is difficult, expensive and has implications for our strategic programme, and is unwarranted. To then conclude a safeguards agreement with the IAEA, and the subsequent additional protocol is fraught with complex dangers since inspections by the IAEA will be intrusive and will rob our scientists of the freedom they have enjoyed all along. The Waiver Authority Bill introduced in the US Congress and under discussion there now will impose obligations even more onerous than the CTBT</b>.

On an issue of such deep import the Prime Minister has repeatedly misled the Parliament and the people of India. It is now clear from the statements made by the US officials before the US Congress that neither parity nor reciprocity will be made available to India under this deal. India will continue to be treated in a discriminatory manner, something we have been opposed to all along. Thus, even the limited comfort that there was in the agreement of July 2005 will now be denied to India.

We believe that the text of the bilateral <b>"123 agreement"</b> with the US, and the safeguards agreement with the IAEA is already under negotiation. Whereas we are in the dark about these negotiations, the US Congress is not. The paradox is that while detailed discussions are taking place on the future of the Indian nuclear programme in the US Congress, Parliament of India is deliberately kept in the dark.

You are well aware that India's nuclear programme, including the strategic programme has always been fully backed by, national consensus and a strong national will. It has never been a single party's or only one government's programme. Today, there is no consensus regarding the nuclear deal, nor is there any effort on the part of the government to build such a consensus. We believe that an overwhelming majority of the Members of Parliament are against this deal.

The present government cannot be allowed to undo the work of the last sixty years, to cap our strategic nuclear programme and to also expose our nuclear scientists to undue interference in their work, from sources outside of India. We would like to state that such a deal cannot bind India in the future.

With kind regards,

Yours sincerely,

(A.B. Vajpayee)
Former Prime Minister
and Chairman NDA
(L.K. Advani)
Leader of
Opposition (Lok Sabha)
(George Fernandes)
Convener, NDA

(Jaswant Singh)
Leader of Opposition (RS)
(Rajnath Singh)
President, BJP
(Sharad Yadav)
President, JD(U)

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Substantial changes likely in Indo-US N-deal  </b>
Washington, June 25: As the House International Committee takes up for fine-tuning on Tuesday a bill on Indo-US nuclear pact, substantive and procedural changes are expected to be part of the `mark up` whose final language may contain a provision seeking termination of the deal if India conducts another nuclear test.

The 18-member Senate Foreign Relations Committee has also said it will be taking up a bill on Wednesday to exempt from certain requirements of the 1954 Atomic Energy Act US exports to India of nuclear material, equipment and technology.

The committee has other business also scheduled for the day such as giving approval to many diplomatic appointments including that of a US Ambassador to Sri Lanka but the nuclear deal will be the issue meriting most of the attention.

In both the House and the Senate the initiative is going to be on a bi-partisan basis with the House seeing a legislation called the <b>Hyde-Lantos Bill </b>and the Senate version of this going by the <b>Lugar-Biden Bill. </b>

The Bush administration has said that it is backing the bi-partisan efforts on Capitol Hill even as it has made it known that it will be opposed to any fundamental changes in the agreement already negotiated with India.

Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns recently said that the administration will oppose "deal breakers".

Billed as one of the most important issues that Congress would have considered for the year, supporters of the deal in the 50-member house International Relations Committee with 27 Republicans and 23 Democrats have made the point this is not a partisan issue that is either going to divide the committee or colour the vote in the full House.

It is also stressed that congress is going to insist on changes both from a procedural point of view and substantively as well-- adding language and provisions that were not part of the original administration bill that was introduced in March.

For instance lawmakers have now come around the idea of a two-step process first put forth by the ranking Democrat from California, Tom Lantos.

First Congress will show resolve and approval for the overall agreement; and next vote on formalising the deal but only after seeing the bilateral nuclear or the 123 agreement and India`s agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency over safeguards.

The language of the final mark up in the House Committee is expected to be fine tuned till the very last minute and is also expected to contain a provision that will call for a termination of civilian nuclear cooperation in the event of nuclear testing again by India.

Apparently some members are insistent that specific language addressing this issue must find its way into the final legislation.

An unofficial draft of the mark up legislation in the House committee doing the rounds speaks of a stipulation that will call for the "full participation" of India in American efforts to "dissuade and isolate and, if necessary, sanction and contain Iran`s efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon capability" or in the capacity to produce weapons of mass destruction and the ability to deliver them.

Once the mark ups clear the House and the Senate committees, it would have to be scheduled for a floor vote. Assuming the legislation passes the two bills will have to be reconciled for language and voted on again.

"The initial proposal, which was submitted to Congress by the administration was a non-starter because it put all of the Congressional concurrence up front and expected us to take at face value what may or may not be negotiated between India and the US," Lantos said at a recent Capitol Hill event.

He said the bi-partisan legislation due for a mark up enjoyed the support of the administration and "if all the players both in the United States and in India Act responsibly" legislation could be had by the third or the fourth week of July.

But what is of concern to some in Congress and outside is on some of the substantive markers that lawmakers like Lantos could insist upon and ones that may or may not have direct bearing to the specific legislation on hand.

For example Lantos, a strident critic of Iran, has lashed out at India on several occasions over its Iran policy, the latest of which pertaining to New Delhi tagging along to the non aligned statement issued at a foreign ministers` meeting in Kuala Lumpur pertaining to Iran.

In all the attention on the civilian nuclear deal there is also a realisation that the timeframe is of a pressing nature given that Congressional calendar is too short for this year and especially so in an election year.

Soon after marking up the legislations in the House and the Senate committees the Congress will be breaking away for the independence day work period for about ten days; will reconvene in the first week of July and again go away for the summer work period by the end of the month.

Congress will reconvene only after Labour Day in the first week of September with the target adjournment set for October 6. This year Congressional elections are scheduled to be held on November 7. 
<b>Top US senator vows to scuttle N-deal</b>

U.S.-Indian nuclear deal: The best of intentions, the worst of results
Brahma Chellany


[center]<b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Congressional panel acts on US-India nuclear deal</span></b><!--emo&:ind--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/india.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='india.gif' /><!--endemo-->[/center]

<b>WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A key committee took the first step on Tuesday toward U.S. congressional approval of a nuclear cooperation deal with India that lawmakers said would promote historic new ties between the two countries.

The House of Representatives International Relations Committee voted 37 to 5 to send legislation endorsing the deal and making changes in U.S. law to the full House, where action is expected next month.</b>

The agreement, granting nuclear-armed India access to U.S. nuclear fuel and reactors for the first time in 30 years, was agreed in principle by President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last July 18. But the deal has come under criticism in both capitals.

Many non-proliferation experts have expressed concern that the deal would allow India to increase nuclear weapons production, but the committee soundly rejected two amendments that sought to force New Delhi to halt fissile material production.

Rep. Tom Lantos, a California Democrat who co-sponsored the bill with panel chairman Henry Hyde of Illinois, said "the impact of this legislation on the new geo-strategic alignment between India and the United States for the balance of the 21st century ... cannot be overstated."

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
no need to cheer, check conditions.


<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Jun 28 2006, 10:38 PM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Jun 28 2006, 10:38 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->no need to cheer, check conditions.


<b>Mudy Ji :</b>

After the Stab in the Back by the Iranians – denying Final Approval by their Economic Committee and/or Parliament – after the Price of Oil and Natural Gas went up does India have any more Choices?

The Commercial negotiation with Iran on <b>Approval Basis</b> was the most foolish act of MSA and his “poodle” Pachauri.

As an example India sells over 60 Million tonnes of Iron Ore – and many other Items – to China and never has any contract with China or for that matter any other Country-Organization has been on <b>Approval Basis</b>

If only MSA and Pachauri concluded the contract in a Commercially Intelligent manner than India would not be in the <b>Tight</b> Corner it is today in respect of its Energy Requirements.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
In long run it will hurt India's long term interest. This bill means, slowly lock assets forever.
Signing fissile treat. Basically, locking itself in dark corner and always have to tolerate US Congress tantrums.

India needs Iran, whether they give oil by holding their nose, India had no choice.
Civil nuclear plant is far away. But India always needs assets to keep two neighboring monkeys at bay.
<b>Reject US conditions on nuke deal: BJP to PM</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"Looking at the language and the terms and conditions to be fulfilled for the deal to take its real shape. It becomes abundantly clear that American negotiators have succeeded in India getting into the CTBT regime and also signing a fissile material cutoff treaty--a draft of which has been recently introduced by the us in the Commission on disarmament in Geneva," he said

Joshi insisted that India would face a ban on nuclear testing once the deal wins US Congress approval.

Also, he voiced fears that the pact puts New Delhi at risk of losing its nuclear superiority over Pakistan.

<b>"The Prime Minister should reject the conditions that deny India its minimum nuclear deterrence and subject the country to a ban on nuclear testing,"</b> Joshi remarked.

<b>"Then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee announced a voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing after the 1998 atomic detonations. But after this deal, India will be bound by the us not to conduct any nuclear testing," </b>Joshi said.

The BJP leader, whose party has sought explanation from the Congress-led government on different aspects of the deal, insisted that the pact would subject India to us dependency.

<b>"Our strategic muscle will slip into us hands once our deterrence is reduced. The BJP reiterates that such a deal is unacceptable and cannot bind India in the future," </b>Joshi said.

He also referred to energy access that the deal promises to India calling it too big a compromise with national security.
"India is set to purchase six 1,000 mw-plus enriched uranium reactors costing 50 billion dollars over the next years. But power generated from all nuclear sources will still not exceed six per cent of the total energy produced in the country in 2020 compared to three per cent today,"</b> he said.

Also, Joshi rejected government assertions that the pact would give India a status of a nuclear weapons state. "It's in fact just the opposite. India has agreed to be treated as a de jure non-nuclear weapons state under the NPT dispensation," he said. "The Prime Minister should have a second look at this energy capsule," he said.

<b>Joshi, who made a passing reference to iran, also alleged that the nuclear agreement sought to bind India to ‘promote’ US foreign policy</b>.

<b>"All these (factors) are repugnant to the letter and spirit of the joint statement of President George W Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in July 2005,"</b> he remarked, citing references to us policy on South Asia and China in the draft legislation on the deal to be put to vote in the US Congress.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Scientist: NPT better than N-deal </b>       
Asian Age; July 3, 2006

Mumbai, July 2: India would be better off signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which permits the exit of any signatory nation, rather than the nuclear deal with the US that will bind the country for "perpetuity", top nuclear scientist Homi Sethna has said.

"The NPT may be discriminatory, but we will still be allowed to exit whereas in the <b>current Indo-US deal which is under negotiation, India will remain bound in perpetuity," </b>Mr Sethna said while delivering a key note address at the Forum of Integrated National Security here on Saturday.

"Therefore, I prefer NPT...to signing the current deal (with the US)," said Mr Sethna, former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission that has been linked to the countrys civil and military nuclear programmes. "<b>India is supposed to get only uranium for its nuclear programme to expand. Simply for this, so much compromising... is uncalled for," he said.</b>

"The Americans were out of the nuclear power reactor building business for the last 25 years. So where is the question of (getting) technology from them?" asked the octogenarian scientist credited with playing a key role in the 1974 nuclear test that saw Indias emergence as a nuclear weapons power.

"Therefore, (in order to end the current global sanctions on the nuclear programme), we rather sign the NPT and it will give an escape route from going through all this trauma of separation and getting a special status agreement with IAEA (under the additional protocol)," he said.

"I do not know how we have been tied down to this situation," Mr Sethna said. "The Indian government should now seriously think about it (signing the NPT). Instead of being looked down upon as a non-signatory all the time, go ahead and sign and break it immediately may be within three hours," he said.
Asked whether it would be unethical on Indias part to sign a deal with the US, he denied that this was the case, pointing to Indias need for energy security .

Concluding a treaty with the US is a "most difficult" task, said Mr Sethna, who has experience of dealings with the Americans during the 196Os and after the nuclear test in 1974. "We had experience with them earlier. I am not saying Americans are not reliable. I want to say, they have a system which makes them feel that they are superior and want to dictate terms," he said to applause from a gathering that included scientists and security analysts.

Mr Sethna said former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had given oral instructions to go ahead with building a nuclear device after he informed her about Chinas progress in developing atomic weapons.

Former AEC chairman P.K. Iyengar also referred to the deal and said that the testimonies before the US Congress and the additions recommended by the US Congressional panels to President Bushs proposal have come as a "shock".

<b>Nuke the doubts </b>
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri
July 6, 2006

The critics who have howled their disapproval of the Indo-US nuclear deal have been small but loud. They formed packs in both India and the US, they have included both right and left, war hawks and peaceniks. That they have emerged from the extremes is as good evidence as any that the deal is a win-win for India and the world.

Here’s a checklist of the main arguments against the deal — and why they’re hogwash.

Myth 1: The deal caps India’s fissile material production. Elements in the BJP argue that the deal puts curbs on how much bomb-making fissile material India can make. The US non-proliferation lobby argues the deal places no curbs on fissile material production. They both can’t be right.

The truth is closer to the latter stance. The deal gives India the option of piling up fissile material: India can build as many military reactors as it wants and continue developing its breeder reactor. The latter, when completed, would leave the country knee-deep in plutonium.

The non-proliferation crowd is wrong to say India will go fissile crazy. There may be a way, but there’s no will. India didn’t make a plutonium mountain before the deal — though it could have — because New Delhi has no interest in a mega-arsenal. Reasons: An emptied exchequer and an arms race with China.

Bottomline: The deal doesn’t restrict India’s fissile material production, India’s own strategic calculations do.

Myth 2: The deal stops India from more nuclear tests. Not even the fine print says India can’t test. What it says is that if India does test, the US will break off all civil nuclear cooperation. This has been part of US law since 1978 and applies to all countries, including Israel and the UK.

The only reason India may test again is to maintain the stability of its nuclear stockpile. But this can be done through subcritical tests — which attract no penalties. But just in case Pakistan and China suddenly start preparing to mushroom-cloud the region and India feels it must follow suit, the deal allows the US President to go to the US Congress and explain India’s reasons and try for an exemption.

Assume the worst: India tests and the US says it’s The End. The only real consequence for India would be a disrupted nuclear fuel supply. Which is why India is negotiating an International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards agreement that commits third parties to supply fuel if the US goes into a sulk.

Bottomline: The deal extracts a cost if India tests. But it has a reimbursement clause.

Myth 3: The deal forced India to sell out Iran. Assume the Indo-US nuclear deal never happened. Would India be happy with Iran getting nuclear weapons? Not a chance. Tehran did business with Pakistan’s atomic smuggler A. Q. Khan. New Delhi has long fretted that Iran’s going nuclear would lead to a Saudi Arabia-Pakistan nuclear alliance. Put it another way: a nuclear Iran rebounds in Pakistan’s favour.

Much is made of India’s ‘special relationship’ with Iran. This is mythical. Yes, the two worked together, notably in Afghanistan. But they have clashed on almost everything else. Iran opposes India’s own nuclear ambitions, lobbies against India’s attempts to get a UN Security Council seat, and supports human rights resolutions and other irritants that have negative implications for Kashmir. Iran is a fair-weather friend. On the nuclear issue, the bilateral sky is permanently cloudy.

Indians have rightly grimaced at heavy-handed attempts by US congressmen and officials to link the Indo-US nuclear deal to India’s opposition to Iran’s nuclear programme. The truth is that India’s policy on Iran wasn’t different, it was just never articulated out of political correctness.

Bottomline: India is and has been against a nuclear-armed Iran. But New Delhi foolishly never made this clear to its public or to Tehran.

Myth 4: Safeguards in perpetuity are a sellout. The idea that any safeguarded nuclear facility will remain civilian forever has an ominously biblical ring. But it’s not new. India first accepted the principle of perpetuity in 1978 when the Department of Atomic Energy let Russia place the Rana Pratap Sagar reactors in Rajasthan under safeguards in 1978. India then agreed to the same for the Koodankulum reactors.

In other words, India has been accepting perpetuity clauses in return for nothing in the past. Now it’s doing the same, but getting international acceptance of its right to have both civilian and military nuclear programmes in return. No country will provide India with nuclear fuel or technology without perpetual safeguards. This is not a US bogey, it’s a global norm.

The only reasonable demand is that India not concede perpetuity without a guarantee of perpetual nuclear fuel supplies. Otherwise, in some theoretical global fluff-up, India could end up with a lot of idle nuclear power plants. This perpetuity-for-perpetuity trade-off is exactly what is being embedded in India’s IAEA safeguards agreement.

Bottomline: Perpetuity is fine, but it must be double-barrelled.

Myth 5: India is not getting genuine nuclear power status. India can’t get nuclear power status as defined by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty unless it can get: a) a time machine and detonate a nuclear bomb before 1967, or b) the support of all 151 NPT signatories. It’s a toss-up as to which is more impossible.

What the nuclear deal gives India is the right to have both civilian and military nukes and access to global nuclear knowhow — the key benefits of nuclear club membership. All else is just rhetoric. It helps to realise that there is no standard ‘bill of rights of a nuclear power’, even among the five NPT powers. Crudely speaking, the earlier you enter the nuclear club, the more rights you get. Thus the US has the most, China the least. China, for example, places many of its atomic installations under perpetual safeguards despite being a recognised nuclear power.

Bottomline: India gets the wine in the bottle, minus the label.

Myth 6: India doesn’t need nuclear power. India needs power from any source that it can find. Critics of nuclear power focus on the high start-up costs of reactors and projections that reactors will at best provide 8 per cent of India’s future energy needs. Yes, reactors are billion-dollar-babies. But that’s why the private sector is being brought in. Reliance, Tata and others are all lining up and they feel they have the funds. The fact the critics sidestep is that after a reactor is up and running, the per unit cost of its electricity is among the lowest and least volatile in the industry.

Also, no one says nuclear power is the be all, end all of India’s power needs. A nation’s energy security is also about being able to tap a variety of power sources. In the long-term, it wouldn’t help to be dependent solely on nuclear power. But not having a lot more nuclear power — cheap electricity that is independent of sheikhs and price cycles — is worse.

<b>The U.S.-India Nuclear Deal</b>
Author: Esther Pan, Staff Writer

<b>New Council Report Urges Two-Stage Compromise on U.S.-India Nuclear Deal</b>
June 7, 2006
Council on Foreign Relations
Congress Should Support Deal While Reinforcing Nonproliferation

<b>U.S.-India Nuclear Cooperation </b>
A Strategy for Moving Forward

Authors: Michael A. Levi, Fellow for Science and Technology
Charles D. Ferguson, Fellow for Science and Technology
Council on Foreign Relations Press
June 2006
48 pages
ISBN 0-87609-363-2
<b>Manmohan gave us what Atal refused: US expert</b>

New Delhi, July 22: Former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was not willing
to “offer much to the United States in exchange for the (civilian nuclear
energy) agreement, we got more from the government of Dr Manmohan Singh,”
according to Dr Ashley Tellis, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace. Dr Tellis worked with US officials on the nuclear
agreement with India.

Dr Tellis, who was earlier posted at the US embassy here as adviser to former
ambassador Robert Blackwill, told Internet news site Rediff that the Vajpayee
government also wanted the deal, but one could not be reached because it was
not giving much to the US. <b>He said he could not disclose what Washington had
wanted from the Vajpayee government but had been unable to get.</b>

Asked by the reporter if Dr Manmohan Singh had caved in “easily”, Dr Tellis
said, “<b>There is no question of Dr Singh caving in,</b> India has got a deal that it
would not have got in the past or in the future.” Sources close to Mr Vajpayee
said there were three points that his government was not willing to concede to
Washington with a clear record of this being established through the Jaswant
Singh-Strobe Talbott talks. These concerned the CTBT, the moratorium on
fissile production and a proposed restrain in the nuclear regime. <b>The bills now
pending a vote in the US Congress clearly seek to “cap, reduce and eliminate”</b>India’s nuclear programme, the sources pointed out, adding that the US
administration at the time “<b>knew from the record that the Vajpayee government
would not concede any ground on these issues”.</b>

The only issue that the NDA government reportedly was finally prepared to
“elaborate upon,” the sources said, was the CTBT in that the US was told that
India would not come in the way if all the other countries agreed to ratify the
treaty. It did not come to that point finally as the US Senate itself rejected
the ratification of CTBT. The discussions, the sources said, did not get near
the shape of an agreement as the issues that needed to be reconciled for such
an agreement to take shape were not agreed upon by the NDA negotiators at the

“We did not give them anything, and they never came out with anything (like a
nuclear agreement) openly,” the sources said. <b>Dr Manmohan Singh has agreed to accept all the conditions that were reportedly rejected by his predecessor.</b> The bill cleared by the US Senate committee on foreign relations seeks to “achieve
as quickly as possible a <b>cessation of the production by India and Pakistan of
fissile materials for nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosive devices</b>”.

<b>The US Atomic Energy Act will be invoked to ensure that India cannot test a
nuclear device.</b> Dr Tellis, who was here to “celebrate” the first anniversary of
the India-US civilian nuclear energy co-operation agreement, admitted in the
interview that the treaty “could” fall if India conducted a nuclear test.

<b>Nuclear experts have already pointed towards US success in bringing India
within the CTBT “through the back door”. </b>Leading nuclear scientist Dr Homi
Sethna has gone on record to say that it would be better if India signed the
NPT than conformed to the provisions of the deal as “it was the lesser of the
two evils.”

<i>The US wants to make us a geisha state.</i>
This is getting wild and must be noted. One of them is lying/spinning and we need to find out about both of these. Does anybody know anything about these two ? How about Carnegie Endowment ? What kind of reach does it have in the current admin ? What are its policies like ? Whats been its position on India ?


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Dr Tellis's denial, and our stand

July 25, 2006 15:23 IST

After his interview was published by rediff.com on July 19, <b>Ashley Tellis, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC,</b> sent us this e-mail:

I want to state for the record that the remarks attributed to me in this interview do not accurately reflect the discussion I had with Onkar Singh.

Citing a faulty tape recorder, Mr Singh did not record my comments but transcribed our fifteen-minute conversation into the sentences posted on your web site. I did not, for example, ever assert, "We got more from the government of Manmohan Singh." What I did say was that the Singh government sought more from the United States than the NDA government, namely full civil nuclear cooperation and, accordingly, made appropriate commitments towards that end.

Similarly, the question as it now appears, "What is it that you wanted from the Vajpayee government but could not get?" was never asked of me. "What did the Vajpayee government offer in 2002?" is the question I responded to.

The same goes for the discussion on the United States, China, and India, where I denied that the United States needed a nuclear deal to buy India's support against China or that containment of China was current US policy.

It is indeed unfortunate that Mr Singh chose to post his redaction of my remarks -- which is different, both in content and tone -- rather than my original answers in full. I would appreciate your posting this letter on your web site.
Senior Associate Editor Onkar Singh responds:</b>

I have gone through Dr Tellis's e-mail. I am glad he did not deny the interview itself. Dr Tellis's responses are correctly reproduced because his answers were very short, and there is no question of my posting my own views.

He did say that the Americans got more out of Dr Singh than the Vajpayee government. So naturally I asked the logical question, which was: What is it that you wanted from the Vajpayee government?

His answer on China was very short as he got a call from a friend and he terminated the interview halfway. I stand by the reproduction of the interview.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->According to a report on India TV, the name of the US 'mole' at the PMO during prime minister Narasimha Rao's regime is finally out.

After keeping the entire nation in suspense for over three days, former external affairs minister and senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh identified scientist Dr V S Arunachalam as the 'spy', who leaked India's nuclear secrets to the US during the early '90s.

Jaswant Singh made this revelation during an interaction with senior BJP leaders later on Tuesday.

Dr V S Arunachalam served five prime ministers - including Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and Narasimha Rao - and 10 defence ministers in different capacities like defence scientific advisor, and as secretary of the department of Defence Research and Development, in his official assignments at the Centre from 1982 onwards.

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