NEWS: Dissent threatens U.S.-India nuclear cooperation deal

Dissent threatens U.S.-India nuclear cooperation deal
By Emily Wax and Rama Lakshmi, Washington Post, August 26, 2007

After two years of painstaking negotiations, a historic nuclear cooperation agreement between the United States and India appears to be unraveling as a broad spectrum of political parties calls on the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to scrap the deal, saying it limits the country’s sovereignty in energy and foreign policy matters.

The landmark accord that just weeks ago looked like a major foreign policy triumph for this energy-starved subcontinent has become a political liability for India’s fragile ruling coalition.

The brouhaha over the deal has surprised some nuclear analysts in Washington, partly because the Bush administration was widely perceived as having caved in to key Indian demands. The administration had assured the government here that it could receive uninterrupted nuclear supplies from the United States and maintain the right to reprocess spent nuclear fuel — a potentially dangerous prospect because reprocessing technology can also be used to make weapons-grade plutonium. To many Western observers, India already had the upper hand in the deal, a testament to its growing international influence. [complete article]

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