A senior US administration official has said the India-US nuclear deal is a "great event" for Indians as it ended a three-decade long nuclear apartheid and that Washington had taken the lead to do this for New Delhi.
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns also said the US has taken a lead internationally to bring India to the nuclear mainstream at a time when New Delhi has become one of its major partners on counter proliferation, on the spread of democracy worldwide, on stability with Pakistan and on the Iran question.
"This is a great event for the Indians. They feel, in essence, that they are being liberated from what they felt was an unfair three-decade long effort by the rest of the world to isolate it...This is very good news that the United States has taken the lead internationally to do this for them," he said.
Noting that there was "larger story" to the nuclear deal than what it meets the eye, he said that the agreement was a strategic move to build a new relationship with India.
"This has always been the ultimate unfulfilled relationship since partition in 1947. I think every American administration since then, beginning with President Truman, has had the ambition to have a full relationship with India. It's never been — it's never materialized. We think it's materializing now," Burns told reporters in Washington.
He said the question which bothered Washington while initiating the India-US nuclear deal was whether to continue isolating India on the nuclear front as it had done in the past three decades or go ahead with the landmark agreement which will put New Delhi's civilian facilities under international scanner.