Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement

Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement

] [cite web|url=|publisher=GovTrack|title=H.R. 5682: House Vote 541: Dec 8, 2006 (109th Congress)|accessdate=2006-12-08] The White House had urged Congress to expedite the reconciliation process during the end-2006 lame duck session, and recommended removing certain amendments which would be deemed deal-killers by India. [cite web|url=,001301790001.htm|title=Nuclear deal with U.S. made easier for India to digest|publisher=Hindustan Times|accessdate=2006-11-09] Nonetheless, while softened, several clauses restricting India's strategic nuclear program and conditions on having India align with U.S. views over Iran were incorporated in the Hyde Act.

In response to the language Congress used in the Act to define U.S. policy toward India, President Bush, stated "Given the Constitution's commitment to the authority of the presidency to conduct the nation's foreign affairs, the executive branch shall construe such policy statements as advisory," going on to cite sections 103 and 104 (d) (2) of the bill. To assure Congress that its work would not be totally discarded, Bush continued by saying that the executive would give "the due weight that comity between the legislative and executive branches should require, to the extent consistent with U.S. foreign policy." [cite web|url=|title=Hyde Act not binding, says Bush|publisher=CNN-IBN|accessdate=2006-12-19]

Political opposition in India

The Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement was met with stiff opposition by some political parties and activists in India. Although many mainstream political parties including the Congress(I) support the deal along with regional parties like Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Rashtriya Janata Dal its realization has run into difficulties in the face of stiff political opposition in India. Also, in November 2007, former Indian Military chiefs, bureaucrats and scientists drafted a letter to Members of Parliament expressing their support for the deal. [cite web|url = |title = :: ‘The question is can we get a better n-deal? No&#x2019 |accessdate = 2008-07-11] However, opposition and criticism continued at political levels. The Samajwadi Party (SP) which was with the Left Front in opposing the deal changed its stand after discussing with ex-president of India and scientist Dr A P J Abdul Kalam. Now the SP is in support of the government and the deal. The Indian Government survived a vote of confidence by 275-256 after the Left Front withdrew their support to the government over this dispute. [ [ Indian government survives vote] ]

As details are revealed about serious inconsistencies between what the Indian parliament was told about the deal, and the actual facts about the agreement that were presented by the Bush administration to the US Congress, opposition is growing in India to the deal. In particular, portions of the agreement dealing with guaranteeing India a fuel supply or allowing India to maintain a strategic reserve of nuclear fuel appear to be diametrically opposed to what the Indian parliament was led to expect from the agreement:Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement in parliament is totally at variance with the Bush Administration's communication to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which says India will not be allowed to stockpile such nuclear fuel stocks as to undercut American leverage to re-impose sanctions. To drive home this point, it says the 123 Agreement is not inconsistent with the Hyde Act's stipulation -- the little-known 'Barack Obama Amendment' -- that the supply of nuclear fuel should be "commensurate with reasonable operating requirements". The 'strategic reserve' that is crucial to India's nuclear program is, therefore, a non-starter. [cite web|url= |title=The Pioneer > Columnists | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02]

Furthermore, the agreement, as a result of its compliance with the Hyde Act, contains a direct linkage between shutting down US nuclear trade with India and any potential future Indian nuclear weapons test. A point that is factually inconsistent with explicit reassurances made on this subject by Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, during final parliamentary debate on the nuclear deal. As professor Brahma Chellaney, an expert in strategic affairs and one of the authors of the Indian Nuclear Doctrine [cite web|url= |title=Brahma Chellaney a strategic affairs expert, is a professor at the Centre for Policy Research. He was one of the authors of the nuclear doctrine submitted to the government for finalisation | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-10] , explains:

While the Hyde Act’s bar on Indian testing is explicit, the one in the NSG waiver is implicit, yet unmistakable. The NSG waiver is overtly anchored in NSG Guidelines Paragraph 16, which deals with the consequence of “an explosion of a nuclear device”. The waiver’s Section 3(e) refers to this key paragraph, which allows a supplier to call for a special NSG meeting, and seek termination of cooperation, in the event of a test or any other “violation of a supplier-recipient understanding”. The recently leaked Bush administration letter to Congress has cited how this Paragraph 16 rule will effectively bind India to the Hyde Act’s conditions on the pain of a U.S.-sponsored cut-off of all multilateral cooperation. India will not be able to escape from the U.S.-set conditions by turning to other suppliers. [cite web|url=!4913C7C8A2EA4A30!788.entry |title=Stagecraft and Statecraft Indias retarded nuclear deterrent | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02]

Indian parliament vote

On July 9, 2008, India formally submitted the safeguards agreement to the IAEA. [ [ Text of India-IAEA Safeguards Agreement] ] This development came after the Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh returned from the 34th G8 summit meeting in Hokkaido, Japan, where he met with U.S. President George W. Bush.cite news|url=|title=India submits draft safeguards pact to IAEA|date=2008-07-09|work=PTI||accessdate=2008-07-08] On June 19, 2008, news media reported that Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh threatened to resign his position if the Left Front, whose support was crucial for the ruling United Progressive Alliance to prove its majority in the Indian parliament, continued to oppose the nuclear deal and he described their stance as irrational and reactionary. [cite web|url = |title = PM wants to quit over nuclear deal |accessdate = 2008-07-11] According to "the Hindu", External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s earlier statement said “I cannot bind the government if we lose our majority,” cite news|url=|title=India sends safeguards agreement to IAEA Board |last=Varadarajan|first=Siddharth|date=2008-07-09||accessdate=2008-07-08] implying that United Progressive Alliance government would not put its signature on any deal with IAEA if it lost the majority in either a 'opposition-initiated no-confidence motion' or if failing to muster a vote of confidence in Indian parliament after being told to prove its majority by the president. On July 08, 2008, Prakash Karat announced that the Left Front is withdrawing its support to the government over the decision by the government to go ahead on the United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act. The left front had been a staunch advocate of not proceeding with this deal citing national interests. [cite web|url = |title = The Hindu News Update Service |accessdate = 2008-07-11]

On 22 July 2008 the UPA faced its first confidence vote in the Lok Sabha after the Communist Party of India (Marxist) led Left Front withdrew support over India approaching the IAEA for Indo-U.S. nuclear deal. The UPA won the confidence vote with 275 votes to the opposition's 256, (10 members abstained from the vote) to record a 19-vote victory.cite news|url=|title=Indian Government Survives Confidence Vote|date=2007-07-23|publisher="The New York Times"] [ [ Indian gov't wins trust vote in parliament_English_Xinhua ] ] [ [ Default ] ] [ [ Post trust vote victory, India Govt. to move forward with reforms, nuclear deal - International Business Times ] ]

IAEA approval

The IAEA Board of Governors approved the safeguards agreement on August 1, 2008, and the 45-state Nuclear Suppliers Group next had to approve a policy allowing nuclear cooperation with India. U.S. President Bush can then make the necessary certifications and seek final approval by the U.S. Congress.cite news|url=|title=IAEA board gets India's safeguards agreement|date=2008-07-09||accessdate=2008-07-08] There were objections from Pakistan, Iran, Ireland, Norway, Switzerland and Austria at the IAEA meeting. [ [,curpg-2.cms N-deal: Getting NSG nod may not be easy] ]

NSG waiver

On September 6, 2008 India was granted the waiver at the NSG meeting held in Vienna, Austria. The consensus was arrived at after overcoming misgivings expressed by Austria, Ireland and New Zealand and is an unprecedented step in giving exemption to a country which has not signed the NPT and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT)cite news|url=|title=NSG CLEARS NUCLEAR WAIVER FOR INDIA|date=September 06 2008|publisher=CNN-IBN|accessdate=2008-09-06] cite news|url=|title=INDIA JOINS NUCLEAR CLUB, GETS NSG WAIVER|date=September 06 2008||accessdate=2008-09-06] The Indian team who worked on the deal includes Manmohan Singh, Pranab Mukherjee, Shiv Shankar Menon, Shyam Saran, MK Narayanan, Anil Kakodkar, RB Grover, and DB Venkatesh Varma.

Versions of U.S. draft exemption

On August 2008 U.S. draft exemption would have granted India a waiver based on the "steps that India has taken voluntarily as a contributing partner in the non-proliferation regime". [ Carnegie Endowment (August 2008): Text of U.S. NSG Proposal on India] ] Based on these steps, and without further conditions, the draft waiver would have allowed for the transfer to India of both trigger list and dual-use items (including technology), waiving the full-scope safeguards requirements of the NSG guidelines. [ NSG Guidelines] ]

A September 2008 waiver would have recognized additional "steps that India has voluntarily taken". [ "Arms Control Association" (September 2008): Revised Indo-U.S. NSG Draft] ] The waiver called for notifying the NSG of bilateral agreements and for regular consultations; however, it also would have waived the full-scope safeguards requirements of the NSG guidelines without further conditions.

The U.S. draft underwent further changes in an effort to make the language more acceptable to the NSG. [ [ "Khabrein": U.S. plans nuclear rewrite to build NSG consensus] ]

Initial support and opposition

The deal had initial support from the United States, the United Kingdom, [ [,25197,23093209-2703,00.html UK backs India's nuke energy ambitions | The Australian ] ] France, [cite web|url= |title=France to back India at IAEA meet-India-The Times of India | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02] Japan, [ [ India Times: Japan to recognise India as nuclear state] ] Russia, [cite web|url= |title=Russia, India Close on Nuclear Deal | |date=13 February 2008 |accessdate=2008-10-02] and Germany. [ [ German leader: Much scope for India-Germany cooperation on peaceful nuclear energy - International Herald Tribune ] ] [ [ The Hindu News Update Service ] ] After some initial opposition, there were reports of Australia, [ [ RTTNews - Political News and Chatter, World Political News, Forex News, Earnings Revisions ] ] Switzerland, [cite web|url= |title=Switzerland to support India's case at NSG- Politics/Nation-News-The Economic Times | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02] and Canada [ [ Canada, India exploring ways to co-operate in nuclear energy. | PTI - The Press Trust of India Ltd. (October, 2007) ] ] [ [ "Times of India": Canada behind U.S., Britain in wooing India, says expert] ] expressing their support for the deal. Selig S. Harrison, a former South Asia bureau chief of "The Washington Post", has said the deal may represent a tacit recognition of India as a nuclear weapon state, [ [ How to Regulate Nuclear Weapons ] ] while former U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Robert Joseph says the U.S. State Department made it "very clear that we will not recognize India as a nuclear-weapon state". [ [ "Arms Control Today" (May 2006): Interview With Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Robert Joseph] ]

Norway, Austria, Brazil, and Japan all warned that their support for India at the IAEA did not mean that they would not express reservations at the NSG. New Zealand, which is a member of the NSG but not of the IAEA Board of Governors, cautioned that its support should not be taken for granted. [ "Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation": U.S.-India Nuclear Energy Deal: What's Next?] ] Ireland, which launched the non-proliferation treaty process in 1958 and signed it first in 1968, doubted India's nuclear trade agreement with the U.S.cite news|url=|title=India's N-deal hurdle: Pak warns of arms race|date=07/24/2008|publisher=CNN IBN|accessdate=2008-07-24] Russia, a potentially large nuclear supplier to India, expressed reservations about transferring enrichment and reprocessing technology to India. [ [ "Times of India": India's NSG battle to focus on nuclear tech] ] China argued the agreement constituted "a major blow to the international non-proliferation regime". [ [ "Times of India": India sees red as China voices n-deal concerns] ] New Zealand said it would like to see a few conditions written in to the waiver: the exemption ceasing if India conducts nuclear tests, India signing the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) additional protocol, and placing limits on the scope of the technology that can be given to India and which could relate to nuclear weapons. [ "The National Business Review": NZ wants conditions written into nuclear agreement] ] Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Scandinavian countries proposed similar amendments. [ "Gulf Times": NSG ‘will seek clear conditions’] ]

After the first NSG meeting in August 2008, diplomats noted that up to 20 of the 45 NSG states tabled conditions similar to the Hyde Act for India's waiver to do business with the NSG. "There were proposals on practically every paragraph," a European diplomat said. [ "Daily Times": Nuclear suppliers propose terms for U.S.-India deal] ] A group of seven NSG members suggested including some of the provisions of the U.S. Hyde Act in the final waiver. [ [ "Telegraph": Vienna blow to nuclear deal] ] Daryll Kimball, executive director of the Washington-based Arms Control Association, said the NSG should at a minimum "make clear that nuclear trade with India shall be terminated if it resumes testing for any reason. If India cannot agree to such terms, it suggests that India is not serious about its nuclear test moratorium pledge." [ [ "AFP": Nuclear suppliers fail to reach consensus on U.S.-India deal] ]

Reactions following the waiver

After India was granted the waiver on September 6, the United Kingdom said that the NSG's decision would make a "significant contribution" to global energy and climate security. [cite web|url= |title=AFP: Britain hails landmark US-India nuclear deal | |author=Sep 6, 2008 |date=Sep 6, 2008 |accessdate=2008-10-02] U.S. National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said, "this is a historic achievement that strengthens global non-proliferation principles while assisting India to meet its energy requirements in an environmentally friendly manner. The United States thanks the participating governments in the NSG for their outstanding efforts and cooperation to welcome India into the global non-proliferation community. We especially appreciate the role Germany played as chair to move this process forward." [cite web|url= |title=U.S., India welcome NSG's agreement to lift nuclear trade embargo on India_English_Xinhua | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02] New Zealand praised the NSG consensus and said that it got the best possible deal with India. [cite web|url= |title=New Zealand compromises on India nuclear deal_English_Xinhua | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02] One of India's strongest allies Russia said in a statement, "We are convinced that the exemption made for India reflects Delhi’s impeccable record in the non-proliferation sphere and will guarantee the peaceful uses of nuclear exports to India." [cite web|url= |title=The Hindu : International : Russia welcomes NSG waiver for India | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02] Australian Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said that the NSG granted waiver because of "India's rise as a global power" and added, "If such a request was made for another country, I don't think it would have been cleared by the NSG members." [cite web|url= |title='India got the waiver because of its rise as global power'-India-The Times of India | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02] During his visit to India in September 2008, Smith said that Australia "understood and respected India's decision not to join the Non-Proliferation Treaty". [cite web|url= |title=India understands uranium stance: Smith - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | |date=September 12, 2008 15:49:00 |accessdate=2008-10-02] German Foreign Ministry spokesman Jens Ploetner called India a "special case" and added, "Does this agreement send an approving message to Iran? No, it absolutely does not." [cite web|url=,2144,3629002,00.html |title=Germany Grudgingly Accepts Landmark Nuclear Deal with India Europe Deutsche Welle 09.09.2008 | |author=DW Staff (jen) |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02]

Initially, there were reports of People's Republic of China analyzing the extent of the opposition against the waiver at the NSG and then revealing its position over the issue. [cite web|url= | China, the main spoiler | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02] On September 1, 2008, prominent Chinese newspaper "People's Daily" expressed its strong disapproval of the civilian agreement with India. [cite web|url= |title=China state paper lashes India-U.S. nuclear deal Markets Reuters | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02] India's National Security Advisor remarked that one of the major opponents of the waiver was China and said that he would express Indian government's displeasure over the issue. [cite web|url= |title=China was India's secret enemy at Vienna What NSA says | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02] It was also revealed that China had abstained during the final voting process, indicating its non-approval of the nuclear agreement. [’s+N-ambitions] In a statement, Chinese delegation to the NSG said the group should address the aspirations of other countries too, an implicit reference to Pakistan. [cite web|url= |title=NSG should address aspirations of others too: China | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02] There were also unconfirmed reports of India considering the cancellation of a state visit by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. [cite web|url= |title=India runs into the great wall of China at NSG | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02] However, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the Chinese Foreign Minister will be welcomed "as an honored guest". [cite web|url= |title=Will discuss NSG U-turn with China Foreign Min: NSA | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02] The "Times of India" noted that China's stance could have a long-term implication on Sino-Indian relations. [cite web|url= |title=Beijing 'disappoints' Delhi-India-The Times of India | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02]

There were some other conflicting reports on China's stance, however. "The Hindu" reported that though China had expressed its desire to include more stern language in the final draft, they had informed India about their intention to back the agreement. [cite web|url= |title=The Hindu : Front Page : Waiver enables member states to provide India full civil nuclear cooperation | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02] In an interview to the "Hindustan Times", Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue said that "China understands India's needs for civil nuclear energy and related international cooperation." [’s+N-ambitions&strParent=strParentID] Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi told India's "CNN-IBN", "We didn't do anything to block it [the deal] . We played a constructive role. We also adopted a positive and responsible attitude and a safeguards agreement was reached, so facts speak louder ... than some reports". [cite web|url= |title=China denies blocking India's nuclear waiver bid Markets Reuters | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02] During a press conference in New Delhi, Yang added, "The policy was set much before that. When consensus was reached, China had already made it clear in a certain way that we have no problem with the [NSG] statement." [cite web|url= |title=We decided to back India in NSG before Vienna meeting: China- Hindustan Times | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02] Highlighting the importance of Sino-Indian relations, Yang remarked, "let us [India and China] work together to move beyond doubts to build a stronger relationship between us." [cite web|url= |title=Let's move beyond doubts to build ties: China to India - Express India | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02]

Indian reactions

Indian PM Manmohan Singh visited Washington D.C. on September 26, 2008 to celebrate the conclusion of the agreement with U.S. President George W. Bush. [cite web|url= |title=Manmohan arrives in Washington, to meet Bush|publisher=Thaindian News |date= |accessdate=2008-10-10] He also visited France to convey his appreciation for the country's stance. [cite web|url= |title=Manmohan leaves for home winding up 9 day US, France visit |publisher=The Hindu |date= |accessdate=2008-10-10] India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee expressed his deep appreciation for India's allies in the NSG, especially the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, Germany, South Africa and Brazil for helping India achieve NSG's consensus on the nuclear deal. [cite web|url= |title=India thanks NSG's Big Four for 'unique' waiver - | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02]

Bhartiya Janata Party's Yashwant Sinha, who also formerly held the post of India's External Affairs Minister, criticized the Indian government's decision to seek NSG's consensus and remarked that "India has walked into the non-proliferation trap set by the U.S., we have given up our right to test nuclear weapons forever, it has been surrendered by the government". [cite web|url= |title=Gulf Daily News | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02] However, another prominent member of the same party and India's former National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra supported the development at the NSG and said that the waiver granted made "no prohibition" on India to conduct nuclear tests in the future. [cite web|url= |title=The Hindu : National : Advantage India, says Brajesh Mishra | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02] Former President of India and noted Indian scientist, APJ Abdul Kalam, also supported the agreement and remarked that New Delhi may break its "voluntary moratorium" on further nuclear tests in "supreme national interest". [ ['N-deal,+NSG+waiver+good+for+country'&strParent=strParentID Hindustan Times: N-deal, NSG waiver good for country] ] However, analyst M K Bhadrakumar demurred. He said that the consensus at NSG was achieved on the "basis" of Pranab Mukherjee's commitment to India's voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing and by doing so, India has entered into a "multilateral commitment" bringing it within "the ambit of the CTBT and NPT". [cite web|url= |title=Asia Times Online :: South Asia news, business and economy from India and Pakistan | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02]

The NSG consensus was welcomed by several major Indian companies. Major Indian corporations like Videocon Group, Tata Power and Jindal Power saw a $40 billion (U.S.) nuclear energy market in India in the next 10-15 years.cite web|url= |title=India Inc sets eyes on $40 bn nuclear energy market- Indicators-Economy-News-The Economic Times | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02] On a more optimistic note, some of India's largest and most well-respected corporations like Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, National Thermal Power Corporation and Larsen & Toubro were eyeing a $100 billion (U.S.) business in this sector over the same time period. According to "Hindustan Times", nuclear energy will produce 52,000 MW of electricity in India by 2020. [cite web|url= |title=N-trade: It's a $40 billion opportunity-India-The Times of India | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02]

Other reactions over the issue

More than 150 non-proliferation activists and anti-nuclear organizations called for tightening the initial NSG agreement to prevent harming the current global non-proliferation regime. [ [ "The Hindu": Tighten draft waiver for India] ] Among the steps called for were: [ "Arms Control Association": "Decision Time on the Indian Nuclear Deal: Help Avert a Nonproliferation Disaster"] ]
*ceasing cooperation if India conducts nuclear tests or withdraws from safeguards
*supplying only an amount of fuel which is commensurate with ordinary reactor operating requirements
*expressly prohibiting the transfer of enrichment, reprocessing and heavy water production items to India
*opposing any special safeguards exemptions for India
*conditioning the waiver on India stopping fissile production and legally binding itself not to conduct nuclear tests
*not allowing India to reprocess nuclear fuel supplied by a member state in a facility that is not under permanent and unconditional IAEA safeguards
*agreeing that all bilateral nuclear cooperation agreements between an NSG member-state and India explicitly prohibit the replication or use of such technology in any unsafeguarded Indian facilitiesThe call said that the draft Indian nuclear "deal would be a nonproliferation disaster and a serious setback to the prospects of global nuclear disarmament" and also pushed for all world leaders who are serious about ending the arms race to "to stand up and be counted."

Dr. Kaveh L Afrasiabi, who has taught political science at Tehran University, has argued the agreement will set a new precedent for other states, adding that the agreement represents a diplomatic boon for Tehran. [ [ Afrasiabi: Iran heartened by India's nuclear vote] ] Ali Ashgar Soltanieh, the Iranian Deputy Director General for International and Political Affairs, [ [ Second Meeting of Experts of The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (July 2004): Statement By His Excellency Dr. Ali-Asghar Soltanieh] ] has complained the agreement may undermine the credibility, integrity and universality of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Pakistan argues the safeguards agreement "threatens to increase the chances of a nuclear arms race in the subcontinent." [ [ "Forbes": India moves a step closer to U.S. nuclear pact] ] Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has suggested his country should be considered for such an accord, [ [ ISIS (July 2008): "Press Trust of India - India dismisses Pak talk of arms race due to N-deal"] ] and Pakistan has also said the same process "should be available as a model for other non-NPT states". [ [ Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the International Organizations (July 2008): Letter from Pakistan to the IAEA Board of Governors and Nuclear Suppliers Group] ] Israel is citing the Indo-U.S. civil nuclear deal as a precedent to alter Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) rules to construct its first nuclear power plant in the Negev desert, and is also pushing for its own trade exemptions. [ [ "Hindustan Times": Now, Israel wants NSG rules changed] ]

Brahma Chellaney, a Professor of Strategic Studies at the New Delhi-based Centre for Policy Research, argued that the wording of the U.S. exemption sought to irrevocably tether New Delhi to the nuclear non-proliferation regime. He argued India would be brought under a wider non-proliferation net, with India being tied to compliance with the entire set of NSG rules. India would acquiesce to its unilateral test moratorium being turned into a multilateral legality. He concluded that instead of the "full" civil nuclear cooperation that the original July 18, 2005, deal promised, India's access to civil nuclear enrichment and reprocessing technologies would be restricted through the initial NSG waiver. [cite web|url= |title=Serious implications for India in NSG draft | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02]

Consideration by U.S. Congress

The Bush Administration told Congress in January 2008 that the United States may cease all cooperation with India if India detonates a nuclear explosive device. The Administration further said it was not its intention to assist India in the design, construction or operation of sensitive nuclear technologies through the transfer of dual-use items. [ [ "Indian Express": Was India misled by America on nuclear deal?] ] The statements were considered sensitive in India because debate over the agreement in India could have toppled the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The State Department had requested they remain secret even though they were not classified. [ [ "Washington Post": In Secret Letter, Tough U.S. Line on India Nuclear Deal] ] Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also previously told the House Foreign Affairs Panel in public testimony that any agreement would "have to be completely consistent with the obligations of the Hyde Act". [ "Economic Times of India": Hyde Act will haunt nuclear deal at NSG too] ] Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Richard Boucher and the Former Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Jeffrey Bergner also said the agreement would be in conformity with the Hyde Act. [ Department of State: Answers to questions about Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement] ]

Howard Berman, chair of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, in a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned that an NSG waiver "inconsistent" with the 2006 Hyde Act would "jeopardise" the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal in the U.S. Congress. [ [ The Hindu News Update Service ] ] Edward J. Markey, co-chairman of the House Bipartisan Task Force on Non-proliferation, said there needed to be clear consequences if India broke its commitments or resumed nuclear testing. [ [ "Economic Times of India": Congressional approval may not be automatic; dissenters speak out] ]

Passage in Congress

On September 28, 2008 the US House of Representatives voted 298-117 to approve the Indo-US nuclear deal. [ [ "Times of India": US House approves Indo-US nuke deal] ] On October 1, 2008 the US Senate voted 86-13 to approve the Indo-US nuclear deal. [ "Bloomberg": Bush Wins Approval in Congress for Priority India Atomic Accord] ] The Arms Control Association said the agreement fails to make clear that an Indian nuclear test would prompt the U.S. to cease nuclear trade; however, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that any nuclear test by India would result in the “most serious consequences,” including automatic cut-off of U.S. cooperation as well as a number of other sanctions. [ [ "The Hindu": Nuclear test will have serious consequences] ]

After Senate approval, US President George W. Bush said the deal would "strengthen our global nuclear nonproliferation efforts, protect the environment, create jobs, and assist India in meeting its growing energy needs in a responsible manner." [cite web|url= |title=Bush hails Senate passage of Indo-US nuclear deal-USA-World-The Times of India | |date= |accessdate=2008-10-02] US presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain, as well as Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden, voted in support of the bill. [ [ Rice hails approval of India nuclear deal] ]

Formal signing of the deal

There was speculation the Indo-US deal would be signed on October 4, 2008 when U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in India. The deal was to be inked by Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The two leaders were to sign the deal at 2 pm at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi. [cite web|url= |title=N-deal faces last-minute glitch |publisher= Deccan Harald] But Mr. Mukherjee announced that India would wait for the US President to sign the 123 agreement legislation first into law and address India’s concerns on fuel supply guarantees and the legal standing of the 123 agreement in the accompanying signing statement. [cite web|url= |title=Condoleezza Rice leaves without inking deal |publisher= Economic Times]

Ms Rice was aware of the Indian decision before she left Washington. But she was very hopeful that the deal would be signed as the US state department had said that the President's signature was not prerequisite for Rice to ink the deal. [cite|author=Sunday Times|title=Rice is here but deal still not on table|publisher=Times of India|date=October 5, 2008] Rice had earlier said that there were still a number of administrative details to be worked out even as she insisted that the US would abide by the Hyde Act on the testing issue:

"There are a lot of administrative details that have to be worked out. This (the deal) was only passed in our Congress two days ago. The President is looking forward to signing the bill, sometime, I hope, very soon, because we'll want to use it as an opportunity to thank all of the people who have been involved in this," said Rice. [cite web|url= |title=Rice arrives, nuclear deal not to be signed today |publisher=]

In Washington, a Senate Democratic aide said such a delay was not that unusual because legislation needed to be carefully reviewed before being sent to the White House. [cite web|url= |title=Rice in India, may not sign nuclear deal |publisher=]

US President George W Bush signed the legislation on the Indo-US nuclear deal into law on October 8. The new law, called the United States-India Nuclear Cooperation Approval and Non-proliferation Enhancement Act, was signed by President Bush at a brief White House function in the presence of the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, Vice-President Dick Cheney and the Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Ronen Sen besides a large gathering of other dignitaries [] . The final administrative aspect of the deal was completed after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee signed the bilateral instruments of the 123 Agreement in Washington on October 10 paving the way for operationalization of the deal between the two countries [cite|title=India, US seal 123 Agreement |author=Times of India| publisher=Times of India|date=October 11, 2008] .

Chronology of the Indo-US Nuclear Deal

July 18, 2005: President Bush and Prime Minister Singh first announce their intention to enter into a nuclear agreement in Washington.

March 1, 2006: Bush visits India for the first time.

March 3, 2006: Bush and Singh issue a joint statement on their growing strategic partnership, emphasising their agreement on civil nuclear cooperation.

July 26, 2006: The US House of Representatives passes the 'Henry J Hyde United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act of 2006,' which stipulates that Washington will cooperate with New Delhi on nuclear issues and exempt it from signing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

July 28, 2006: In India, the Left parties demand threadbare discussion on the issue in Parliament.

November 16, 2006: The US Senate passes the 'United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation and US Additional Protocol Implementation Act' to "exempt from certain requirements of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 United States exports of nuclear materials, equipment, and technology to India."

December 18, 2006: President Bush signs into law congressional legislation on Indian atomic energy.

July 27, 2007: Negotiations on a bilateral agreement between the United States and India conclude.

Aug 3, 2007: The text of the 'Agreement for Cooperation between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of India concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energy' (123 Agreement) is released by both governments.

Aug 13, 2007: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh makes a suo motu statement on the deal in Parliament.

Aug 17, 2007: The CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat says the 'honeymoon (with government) may be over but the marriage can go on'.

Sept 4, 2007: In India, the UPA-Left committee to discuss nuclear deal set up.

Feb 25, 2008: Left parties in India say the ruling party would have to choose between the deal and its government's stability.

March 3-6, 2008: Left parties warn of 'serious consequences' if the nuclear deal is operationalised and set a deadline asking the government to make it clear by March 15 whether it intended to proceed with the nuclear deal or drop it.

March 7-14, 2008: The CPI writes to the Prime Minister Singh, warns of withdrawal of support if government goes ahead with the deal and puts political pressure on the Manmohan Singh government not to go with the deal.

April 23, 2008: The Indian Government says it will seek the sense of the House on the 123 Agreement before it is taken up for ratification by the American Congress.

June 17, 2008: External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee meets Prakash Karat, asks the Left to allow the government to go ahead with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards agreement.

June 30, 2008: The Indian Prime Minister says his government prepared to face Parliament before operationalising the deal.

July 8, 2008: Left parties in India withdraw support to government.

July 9, 2008: The draft India-specific safeguards accord with the IAEA circulated to IAEA's Board of Governors for approval.

July 10, 2008: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calls for a vote of confidence in Parliament.

July 14, 2008: The IAEA says it will meet on August 1 to consider the India-specific safeguards agreement.

July 18, 2008: Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon briefs the IAEA Board of Governors and some NSG countries in Vienna on the safeguards agreement.

July 22, 2008: Government is willing to look at "possible amendments" to the Atomic Energy Act to ensure that the country's strategic autonomy will never be compromised, says Prime Minister Singh.

July 22, 2008: The UPA government lead by Manmohan Singh wins trust vote in the Lok Sabha in India.

July 24, 2008: India dismisses warning by Pakistan that the deal will accelerate an atomic arms race in the sub-continent.

July 24, 2008: India launches full blast lobbying among the 45-nation NSG for an exemption for nuclear commerce.

July 25, 2008: IAEA secretariat briefs member states on India-specific safeguards agreement.

Aug 1, 2008: IAEA Board of Governors adopts India- specific safeguards agreement unanimously.

Aug 21-22, 2008: The NSG meet to consider an India waiver ends inconclusively amid reservations by some countries.

Sep 4-6, 2008: The NSG meets for the second time on the issue after the US comes up with a revised draft and grants waiver to India after marathon parleys.

Sept 11, 2008: President Bush sends the text of the 123 Agreement to the US Congress for final approval.

Sept 12, 2008: US remains silent over the controversy in India triggered by President Bush's assertions that nuclear fuel supply assurances to New Delhi under the deal were only political commitments and not legally binding.

Sept 13, 2008: The State Department issues a fact sheet on the nuclear deal saying the initiative will help meet India's growing energy requirements and strengthen the non- proliferation regime by welcoming New Delhi into globally accepted nonproliferation standards and practices.

Sept 18, 2008: The Senate Foreign Relations Committee kicks off a crucial hearing on the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Sept 19, 2008: America's nuclear fuel supply assurances to India are a "political commitment" and the government cannot "legally compel" US firms to sell a "given product" to New Delhi, top officials tells Congressional panel.

Sept 21, 2008: US financial crisis diverts attention from N-deal as both the Bush Administration and the Congress are bogged down over efforts to rescue bankrupt American banks. financial crisis in the country.

Sept 26, 2008: PM Singh meets President Bush at the White House, but were not able to sign the nuclear deal as the Congress did not approve it.

Sept 27, 2008: House of Representatives approves the Indo-US nuclear deal. 298 members voted for the Bill while 117 voted against.

Oct 1, 2008: Senate approves the Indo-US civil nuclear deal with 86 votes for and 13 against.

Oct 4, 2008: Secretary of State Rice visits Delhi. India and the US unable to ink the nuclear agreement with New Delhi insisting that it would do so only after President Bush signs it into a law, an occasion when it expects certain misgivings to be cleared.

Oct 4, 2008: White House announces that President Bush will sign the legislation on the Indo-US nuclear deal into a law on October 8.

Oct 8, 2008: President Bush signs legislation to enact the landmark US-India civilian nuclear agreement.

Oct 10, 2008: The 123 Agreement between India and US is finally operationalized between the two countries after the deal is signed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his counterpart Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Washington D C.

ee also

* Indo-American relations
* Energy policy of India
* Nuclear power in India
* Foreign relations of India
* Energy security


External links

U.S. Government links

* [ U.S. Government Printing Office: The text of the Hyde Act]
* [ U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee: Questions for the Record submitted to Assistant Secretary Bernger by Chairman Tom Lantos]
* [ U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee: Documents from the White House related to the U.S.-India civilian nuclear cooperation agreement]

India Government links

* [ Indian Ministry of External Affairs (August 2007): Text of the preliminary Indo-U nuclear agreement] (

Nuclear Suppliers Group links

* [ "Nuclear Suppliers Group" (August 2008): NSG Public Statement – Extraordinary Plenary Meeting]
* [ "Nuclear Suppliers Group" (November 2007): INFCIRC/254/Rev.9/Part 1]
* [ "Nuclear Suppliers Group" (March 2006): INFCIRC/254/Rev.7/Part 2]

Other links

* [ "Argument Map" (October 2008)]

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