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Nuke deal with India bad for US: NYT

The daily, in a scalding editorial, says that the deal was good for India, but US got very little from it. Have your say
None | By Indo-Asian News Service, Washington
UPDATED ON JUL 29, 2006 01:12 PM IST

The New York Times has said that the Indo-US nuclear deal was "a bad deal" for America, but the US Congress is unlikely to fix it with "so much pro-India lobbying money sloshing around up there."

"Many on Capitol Hill had complained in 2005 that the Bush administration was taken to the cleaners when it negotiated a nuclear cooperation deal with India," the daily said in an editorial on Friday.

"But with so much pro-India lobbying money sloshing around up there, hopes are fast fading that Congress will do anything to fix it," it said, adding that "an army of lobbyists earned their keep this week when the House overwhelmingly approved the deal with minimal restrictions".

Bringing the world's most populous democracy - and 12th largest economy - in from the nuclear cold isn't necessarily a bad idea, but the problem is that the US got very little for it, the paper said.

"No Indian promise to stop producing bomb-making material. No promise not to expand its arsenal. And no binding promise not to resume nuclear testing - the White House won't promise that either," it said.

"Lawmakers insisted that they get to vote again after the administration gets a formal agreement. But that has more to do with political prerogatives than non-proliferation. And the outcome is likely to be the same," the paper said.

The current Senate version, which probably won't come up until September, is only slightly better, the daily said.

It prohibits the US from selling India technology that can produce fuel for either a reactor or a nuclear weapon.

That won't stop India from producing more bomb-grade material, but "at least Americans can be comforted that our equipment isn't making it. Of course, the more American uranium India buys for its power reactors, the more Indian uranium it will have for its weapons programme," the paper said.

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