Proliferation Press

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Archive for the ‘U.S. India Nuclear Deal’ Category

Pakistan Makes Its Own Nuclear Move

Posted by K.E. White on September 19, 2008

Business Standard reports on the liklihood of Pakistan–in clear reaction to the US-India nuclear deal–pushing for a nuclear deal with China. 

In its bid to offset the impact of Indo-US nuclear deal, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari will take up the acquisition of nuclear fuel technology from China during his forthcoming visit.

The Pakistan government has decided to set up two nuclear power plants worth Rs 139 billion to overcome the country’s energy crisis, official sources were quoted as saying by the Aaj Kal Urdu daily.

Zardari, who is expected to visit China in the near future, will discuss the acquisition of fuel technology for the two new plants with the Chinese leadership, the sources said.

While one may consider India a prime candidate for nuclear commerce, many of its attributes–steady regime, peaceful political turnovers, even accepting terrorism probelms–Pakistan’s regimes have not shown themselves durable. While jockeying between weak deomcratic regimes and strong-man dictatorships, expanding Pakistan’s nuclear arsneal and power facilities comes with additional headaches: abrupt regime change and the real and potent presence of radical Islamic terror-groups.

Time will shown if Pakistan’s newly elected President and re-charged (if unity-less) Paraliament can foster the stability, liberalism and security so lacking in Pakistan’s recent past. And–addressing worse-case scenarios–the Pakastani military has shown strong and responsible control over Pakistan’s nuclear hardware. But Pakistan’s four-pronged pressures–economic woes, Kashmir, periodic political upheaval and the worrisome presence & support of Islamic terrorism–keep international concern over this country at a high level.

Posted in China, Diplomacy, India, Nuclear, Pakistan, U.S. India Nuclear Deal, WMD | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Michael Krepon On US-India Nuclear Deal: The “clear legislative intent of the Congress has been subverted”

Posted by proliferationpresswm on September 18, 2008

A solid interview with Michael Krepon, Co-founder, The Henry L. Stimson Center for the Council on Foreign Relations.

Two sections to highlight:

  • The government of India has been very clear in saying that the suspension of fuel supplies at its power plants would be grounds for removing Indian facilities from the IAEA safeguards agreement. What this means is, quite simply, that in the event of a resumption of Indian testing, French and Russian suppliers of fuel will argue very strenuously that fuel supplies should continue because otherwise safeguards will be removed—and there will be no consensus in the NSG. So the clear legislative intent of the Congress has been subverted by the Bush administration’s dealings with both the IAEA and the NSG.
  • Another interesting question is whether or not the government of Israel will seek exemptions from the typical rules of nuclear commerce, not necessarily for power plants, but perhaps for desalinization plants, that’s another possibility. I think the ramifications of an Israeli attempt to get exemptions from nuclear controls are worth considering. 

The interview succinctly shows the flaws with the nuclear pact, while fleshing out its the political and commercial consequences.

Posted in Diplomacy, Michael Krepon, Nuclear, U.S. India Nuclear Deal, WMD | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

US-India Nuclear Deal: Dead Or Not?

Posted by K.E. White on October 17, 2007

US India Nuclear Deal: Dead or not? Here are two conflicting news accounts.

The International Herald Tribune has this post-script on the US India nuclear deal:

His coalition partners don’t want him to force an early election. Polls are due in 2009, and which politician wants to give up political power for the sake of nuclear power?

One important ally, Muthuvel Karunanidhi of Tamil Nadu State, went ahead and congratulated the prime minister for “gladdening the hearts of people” by patching up with the leftist parties.

“Frankly, the deal is not important,” he told the NDTV news channel. “The government is important.”

Unless Singh has staged a tactical retreat to take the Marxists by surprise in a later offensive, the so-called 123 agreement with the United States is now dead.

But wait, The Business Standards has this:

Congress spokesperson Shakil Ahmed today denied that the Indo-US nuclear deal was on hold, but stopped short of saying that the deal was on track and gave no time frame for its operationalisation.

When asked repeatedly asked about the deal’s future, Ahmed said: “The deal is not on hold. It has not been put in cold storage. Your (media’s) assessment is wrong.”

He also pointed out that the Prime Minister had never said that the deal was dead or on hold.

Perhaps Singh is waiting to bring the deal back during a less heated time. But exactly when that time will be (after 2009 elections?), seems unclear.

And will India find support for the deal with the new American president?

Posted in America, India, U.S. India Nuclear Deal, White House | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Nuclear Deal Not Gone Yet: Singh IBSA Nuclear Buzz in Johannesburg

Posted by K.E. White on October 17, 2007

Manmohan Singh

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh makes nuclear buzz with his meeting with leaders of Brazil and South Africa, for the second India-Brazil-South Africa Summit (IBSA).

From NDTV:

In his bilateral talks with [Thabo] Mbeki [Luis Inacio] Lula, the Prime Minister will try to garner support of South Africa and Brazil for the India-US nuclear deal.

It is a diplomatic exercise that is also aimed at getting across the message back home that India may have put its safeguards negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on hold but plans to keep its NSG diplomacy on track.

What’s the IBSA?


It’s a formal meeting of the leaders of India, Brazil and South Africa—leading nations of Asia, South America and Africa. The summits emerged out of earlier meetings between the nations’ foreign ministers.

Manmohan Singh, Thabo Mbeki and Luis Inacio Lula gives this summit rundown:

The Summit of Heads of State and Government will be preceded by an IBSA Ministerial Working Breakfast hosted by Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma with her counterparts from India and Brazil, Foreign Ministers Shri Pranab Mukherjee and Dr Celso Luiz Nunes Amorim at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

It is expected that a number of trilateral agreements will be signed following the meeting of Heads of State and Government focusing on shipping, ICT and energy India-Brazil-SA have very vibrant democracies, common views on major global issues and are substantial players in their respective sub-regional economies.

Collectively India, Brazil and South Africa have a population of over 1.3 billion people and a combined market of almost U.S. $2 trillion.

For interested readers, here’s the first IBSA summit’s joint communiqué and the 2005 closing statement from a 2005 IBSA Dialogue Forum.

And The Citizen shows the soccer-connection between South Africa (2010 World Cup host) and Brazil:

Ahead of serious political, economic and social discussions between the leaders, Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva congratulated President Thabo Mbeki on winning the rights to hold the World Cup in South Africa.

“I (also) want to congratulate you because South Africa has decided to hire a Brazilian coach who has a long track record… winning the world cup in the past,” Lula da Silva said.


Posted in Brazil, IBSA, India, India Brazil South Africa Summit, Luis Inacio Lula, Manmohan Singh, Nuclear, South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, U.S. India Nuclear Deal | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

US India Nuclear Deal “On Pause”

Posted by K.E. White on October 15, 2007

Apparently a cryogenically frozen nuclear deal is not a dead deal.

From the Indo-Asian News Service:

‘The nuclear deal is not off, but is on a state of pause. It is in suspended animation, like the Karnataka assembly,’ the minister said here, not wanting to be quoted on this sensitive issue without proper authorization.

And from NDTV:

”The Prime Minister explained to President Bush that certain difficulties have arisen with respect to the operationalisation of the India-US civil nuclear cooperation agreement,” a release issued by Prime Minister’s Media Advisor Sanjaya Baru said.

The conversation came in the wake of the statement made by the Prime Minister last week on Friday that it would be a disappointment if the deal does not not (sic) come through and that it was ”not the end of life.”

The Prime Minister, who had staked a lot in clinching the deal and to get it operationalised, made the Friday statement in the backdrop of unrelenting opposition to the deal from the Left parties which had warned of grave consequences, an (sic) euphemism for withdrawing support to the UPA government, if the deal was implemented.

Posted in America, India, Nuclear Deal, U.S. India Nuclear Deal | Leave a Comment »

News Alert: US-India Nuclear Deal Slipping Away?

Posted by K.E. White on October 12, 2007

Manmohan Singh

India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has—for the first time—publicly discussed the possible failure of the US-India nuclear deal.

From AFP:

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday ruled out early elections amid a political uproar over a controversial Indo-US nuclear deal, but admitted the accord may never gain approval.

The communists have repeatedly threatened to withdraw their support for the minority Congress-led coalition government if it proceeds with the landmark pact, which would allow energy-hungry India to buy civilian nuclear technology.

Singh said he hoped that “reason and common sense” would ultimately prevail on the Indo-US agreement, which he described as “an honourable deal that is good for India and good for the world.”

But “if the deal does not come through, that is not the end of life,” Singh added.

“It will be a disappointment. In life, one has to live with some disappointments.”

It was the first time that Singh, who had staked his political credibility on the nuclear agreement seen as a cornerstone of warmer Indo-US ties, had publicly evoked the possibility that the deal might not go ahead.

It marked a sharp change in stance from two months ago, when Singh dared the communists to withdraw their support for the coalition if they were unhappy with the deal.

Voice of America explores the roots of Indian opposition to the US India nuclear deal:

London-based journalist Vijay Rana says some of the opposition to the deal in India stems from doubts about the United States dating back to the Cold War period when India was allied with the former Soviet Union.“The Indian opinion can be divided into two broad sections, says Dr. Rana.” One is the young India, the educated India, the high-tech India, rising and shining India. These younger people have no reservations as far as America is concerned, and they increasingly look forward to strengthening this relationship, which is based on economic ties largely. But then there is an older India, India of the cold war years, and these communists, in fact, largely survive on that part of public opinion.”

India’s opposition Bhartiya Janata Party, or B-J-P, also opposes the deal, even though the previous government, which was led by the B-J-P, laid the groundwork for cooperation between India and the United States. Experts say the B-J-P’s opposition is largely due to internal party politics, as well as to shortsightedness on the part of some B-J-P leaders. These politicians aspire to fresh elections that might result if the communists withdraw support from the Congress-led government over the nuclear deal.

Posted in India, U.S. India Nuclear Deal, United States | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

ElBaradei goes to India…But To Talk About What?

Posted by K.E. White on October 9, 2007

ElBaradei is in India on a three day tour. His itinerary: inaugurating new cancer treatment technology (the Bhabhatron-II) and the Bhadha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai. ElBaradei will also be meeting with political leaders, but not in reference to IAEA safeguards for the US India nuclear deal.

The IAEA must approve the US India nuclear deal, and must come to an understanding with India about inspections over nuclear sites. (Note: The current nuclear deal exempts ‘military’ facilities from IAEA inspections. What determines ‘civilian’ vs. ‘military’ nuclear facilities is just one issue that remains to be ironed out.)

The visit may inflame already tense negotiations over the deal within the ruling coalition government. India’s political left, an ally of the majority Congress Party, are not happy over the deal:

“Those who advocate the deal should know that India is capable of developing nuclear energy primarily on a self-reliant basis,” the four communist parties said in a joint release in New Delhi yesterday. “We need not surrender our vital interests to America on this plea.”

Prakash KaratThe New York Times provides an interesting article exploring the leader of the Indian Communist Party Prakash Karat and his party’s spoiler role in Indian politics.

From the Associated Press:

India’s government on Tuesday played down a visit by the chief of the U.N. atomic watchdog, denying he was there to negotiate a landmark nuclear deal between India and the United States that threatens to bring down the government.

Mohamed ElBaradei, whose International Atomic Energy Agency must approve the pact, said he was ready to discuss the agreement whenever Indian officials wished.

Speaking to reporters after a planned meeting with top Indian scientists, he said the “IAEA is ready for talks whenever India approaches me for the talks.”

And from The Hindu News Update:

“IAEA is ready for talks whenever the India approaches me for the talks,” Elbaradei, on a three-day visit to India, said after inaugurating the indigenously developed advanced computerised telecobalt machine `Bhabhatron-II’ for treatment of cancer here.

“The Indian government will have to take a decision,” he said adding, “I will wait for them to come to Vienna to make a formal request (in this regard).”

Posted in ElBaradei, IAEA, India, Prakash Karat, U.S. India Nuclear Deal | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

US India Nuclear Deal Hits An Israeli Snag, But Gets a French Boost

Posted by K.E. White on October 2, 2007

The US-India nuclear deal may have hit an Israeli stepback. With the deal already facing fire in New Delhi and still lacking IAEA approval, a new challenge has appeared: Israel is lobbying the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to give India and Israel access to nuclear trade.

Getting the NSG to make an exception for India–a non-NPT recognized nuclear power–already caused turbulence, but had apparently won the support of China and Russia. Will this Israel variable set India back to square one?

Will Turkey really support an exemption only adds emphasis to Pakistan–a non-recognized nuclear power–failure to get the same treatment as Israel and India? And how will this Israeli lobbying be viewed in the Middle East?

But India also got some good news on the NSG front. France, a key member of the group, will actively lobby for an Indian exception to NSG rules that bar nuclear trade with non-NPT member states.

The move was predictable, since France seeks to conclude its own nuclear deal with India.

The Pakistani newspaper Dawn reports on the Israeli complication:

Using the Israeli proposal as an example, the opponents of the Indo-US nuclear deal can argue that any exception to the NPT restriction may open the gate to proliferation as other non-recognised nuclear states may also demand acceptance. Documents outlining Israel’s proposal were distributed among the NSG members in March and have circulated on Capitol Hill in Washington in recent days.

The Israeli plan offers 12 criteria for allowing nuclear trade with non-treaty states, including one that hints at Israel’s status as an undeclared nuclear weapons state: A state should be allowed to engage in nuclear trade if it applies “stringent physical protection, control and accountancy measures to all nuclear weapons, nuclear facilities, source material and special nuclear material in its territory.”

Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association in Washington, said the Israeli document could affect the debate over India. “The dynamics at the NSG are that no country wants to stand in the way of the largest country, India, and the most powerful country, the US,” he said.

And The Hindu reports on French support for India’s nuclear exception:

In this regard, France is awaiting the waiver by NSG, the officials said, adding an Indo-French nuclear agreement would be on a “different scale” than the Indo-US deal.

It would involve transfer of crucial reprocessing technology that has been denied by Washington in the Indo-US deal.

“We feel that there is a necessity to introduce a change in the international system (on nuclear issue) to allow India to play its due role in it,” a senior official of the French Atomic Energy Commission told a group of visiting Indian journalists here.

Posted in America, France, France India nuclear deal, India, Israel, Nuclear Deal, Nuclear Suppliers Group, U.S. India Nuclear Deal | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Update: US-India Nuclear Deal

Posted by K.E. White on October 1, 2007

The Communist Party of India is set to hash out nuclear differences with Prime Minister Singh on October 5th. Why is this news? The Communist Party is a leading partner of the UPA government, and cause a new round of elections over the US-India nuclear deal.

From Bloomberg news:

Members of the ruling coalition and the Communists are scheduled to meet on Oct. 5 to discuss concerns over the accord. The ruling coalition set up a special committee to examine the objections to the accord in a bid to pacify the Communist allies.

The government will consider the committee’s findings before the accord becomes operational, Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee said Aug. 30. India hasn’t yet held any formal talks with the IAEA.

Singh has put his ruling coalition at risk for the US-India nuclear deal. And it seems he might have difficulty winning over his communist coalition partners:

“We cannot compromise. Let us see what the Congress does and then we shall take a decision,” the 94-year-old Basu, considered the patriarch of India’s Left, was quoted as saying in the eastern city of Kolkata by the Press Trust of India.

Basu was speaking to reporters as he entered a meeting of the central committee meeting of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Posted in America, India, Nuclear, Pranab Mukherjee, U.S. India Nuclear Deal | Leave a Comment »

NYTimes Shines Light on IAEA Head ElBaradei, But What About the US-India Nuclear Deal?

Posted by K.E. White on September 17, 2007

Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy, snagged the The New York Times front page—well at least the front page of their morning on-line edition.

The piece is part diplomatic update and even-handed psychological portrait of the IAEA director general. The piece shows ElBaradei as industrious and ambitious, tasked with the perhaps impossible situation of mediating the Iranian nuclear crisis.

The article is a good read, but its attempt to caste a general narrative to ElBaradei’s career is a bit madding owing to one glaring exception: ElBaradei’s approval of the US-India nuclear deal.

The discussing ElBaradei’s unprecedented third terms at the IAEA, Elaine Sciolino and William J. Broad leave out a critical wrinkle in the IAEA Chief’s career. What does it mean that the IAEA is supporting what critics consider an unfair nuclear give-away to India?

Also what did America extract from ElBaradei for his third term? Perhaps nothing—but perhaps it was endorsing the US-Indian nuclear deal—or merely coming out in force with his approval.

One other addition may have added some flavor to the piece: ElBaradei storming out of an IAEA board of governors meeting. Why the temper tantrum? Anger over the EU not fully supporting his Iranian nuclear time-table, the very diplomatic nugget the article is trying to elucidate.

Posted in Elaine Sciolino, ElBaradei, IAEA, Iran, New York Times, Nuclear Deal, U.S. India Nuclear Deal, William J. Broad | Leave a Comment »