Refuting criticism that fuel assurances and reprocessing right to India are inconsistent with US' non-proliferation obligations and the Hyde Act, two reputed scholars have said the 123 Agreement will "limit the negative impact" of disagreement over NPT on bilateral ties.
In their memo "US Nuclear Agreement with India: An Acceptable Deal for Major Strategic Gain", Lisa Curtis and Baker Spring have said India's behaviour "is consistent with a policy to establish objective criteria for civil nuclear cooperation with de facto nuclear weapons states." "Throughout the negotiations, India consistently defended its right to reprocess nuclear fuel under this agreement. The Administration ultimately accepted Indian demands but distinguished between the right and an entitlement to US assistance in the pursuit of reprocessing activities.
"In fact, any action on reprocessing will depend on the conclusion of a subsequent agreement, as required by Section 131 of the US Atomic Energy Act of 1954," the authors say going on to make the point that India has committed to set up a dedicated reprocessing facility to ensure that American origin fuel is not diverted for weapons programme.
"Members of Congress who were adamant about denying India reprocessing rights may be reluctant to accept the compromise, but they should consider the fact that India's construction of a new reprocessing facility under international safeguards will actually bring India's nuclear programme into greater conformity with the international nonproliferation regime," Curtis and Spring have said.
Two reputed scholars have said the 123 Agreement will "limit the negative impact" of disagreement over NPT on bilateral ties.