How bad was Chimpy’s nuclear deal with India? Disastrous.
The agreement, which must still be approved by the U.S. Congress, marks a significant blow to the prevailing international non-proliferation regime, according to the critics, who have argued that it effectively rewards India for behaviour that differs little from what Iran is trying to do today.
“It’s going to be tough to argue that Iran and North Korea should be denied nuclear technology while India — which has failed to even join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) — is given the same technology on a silver platter,” said Worldwatch President Christopher Flavin.
“The deal is a disaster for the nuclear non-proliferation regime on the planet,” agreed Democratic Rep. Edward Markey, a leading proliferation specialist in the U.S. Congress, who is expected to spearhead efforts to defeat the accord as signed.
“It blows a hole through any attempts in the future that we could make to convince the Pakistanis, or the Iranians, or the North Koreans, or for that matter any other country in world that might interested in obtaining nuclear weapons, that there is a level playing field, that there is a real set of safeguards,” he added in an interview with public television.
“The president has, thus far, done a horrendous job of convincing Congress that the agreement is a good idea,” [Rep. Gary Ackerman] said Thursday. “Now that there is an agreement with India, he must get to work and make the case to Congress, or else the nuclear deal will blow up in his face.”
[N]on-proliferation specialists like Joseph Cirincione of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace charged that agreement’s specifics — notably the exemption of “military” reactors from international inspections and safeguards — deal a mortal blow to the international non-proliferation regime.
“The deal appears to give India complete freedom not just to continue but to expand its production of fissile material for nuclear weapons,” according to Robert Einhorn, a top non-proliferation specialist in the Bill Clinton administration (1993-2001) now with the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) here.
“In the future, any reactor it designates as ‘military’ can be used for the weapons programme,” he said, questioning what Bush received in return.
Carnegie’s Cirincione was more blunt: “Pres. Bush has now given away the store. He did everything but actually sell nuclear weapons to India.”