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'Nuke deal to help non-proliferation'

A top US lawmaker has dismissed the recommendations Congress should impose further conditions on accord.

india Updated: Jun 13, 2006 10:40 IST

A top American lawmaker has made out a strong case for the Indo-US nuclear deal, saying it could serve as a "catalyst" to strengthening an "eroding" non- proliferation regime and dismissed recommendations that the Congress should impose additional conditions on the accord.

In a letter to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Republican Senator Pete Domenici has argued that imposition of conditions would derail an agreement that "for the first time brings an element of transparency to the civilian nuclear programme".

Domenici's letter was in response to the views expressed by former Senator and non-proliferation expert Sam Nunn in an article titled 'Nuclear Pig in a Poke' in the WSJ, in which he called for additional sanctions by the Congress on the Indo-US nuclear deal.

"I believe this agreement can serve as a catalyst to strengthening an eroding non-proliferation regime, a regime that has brighter prospects with India than without her" the Senator said.

"Right now, India's civilian and military programmes remain closed to global scrutiny. Under this agreement, the entire civilian programme, 65 per cent of all nuclear activity and eventually 90 per cent, will open to monitoring by the IAEA," Domenici said.

He said the nuclear agreement will bring India on board as an ally in US non-proliferation efforts.

First Published: Jun 13, 2006 10:19 IST