Proliferation Press

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Obama and Rice Talk Shop: The U.S.-India Nuclear Deal

Posted by K.E. White on February 13, 2007

Sen. Barack Obama and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice traded off on the U.S. India nuclear deal on February 8, 2007.

In what might be a fortelling of the treatment of the U.S.-India nuclear deal under a Democratic White House in 2008, Obama expressed his concerns over it.

Since the deal, recently passed by Congress and signed by the President Bush, would grant wide lattitude to the President–these words might just spell the fate of the deal in an Obama White House.

Sen. Barack Obama

“Given the deal that was reached with India, I think there is concern that the structure that had been in place may not sustain itself over the long term if we don’t make sure that we’re gathering up some sort of international consensus about what the rules of the road are. I know that the administration takes this seriously, but I don’t think that there has been as systematic an approach as I would like to see,” Obama said.

Responding to Obama`s point on India being an “anomaly”, Rice said, “Well, I think that could be the case. But, of course, there’s a very specific circumstance of the India-Pakistan, South Asia, context” and added that the “most likely problem” would come from an “Iranian” nuclear weapon.

Rice emphasised the non-proliferation credentials of the Bush administration and maintained it has been pursuing a number of elements that were outlined in a Presidential speech in 2004 and pointed to the success of counter-proliferation efforts, especially the busting of the nuclear components smuggling network run by disgraced Pakistani scientist A Q Khan. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

“The non-proliferation side has been very important to us ever since the President gave, at the National Defense University in 2004, a major non-proliferation speech.
And we`ve been pursuing a number of the elements of that outline. Obviously, you do have to deal with the bad actors, Iran and North Korea. There`s a counter-proliferation element of that…”

“So the President spoke to this problem and suggested that there should be some kind of international or fuel suppliers group that could provide fuel to countries that wish to pursue civil nuclear power without having the whole fuel cycle. We think that the Russian programme Bushehr in Iran is on exactly that model. When President Putin and President Bush were together very recently in Vietnam, they agreed to have talks about how Russia and the United States might move forward a strengthening of the non-proliferation regime based around issues of the fuel cycle,” Rice told Senator Obama.

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One Response to “Obama and Rice Talk Shop: The U.S.-India Nuclear Deal”

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