The India-U.S. Nuclear Agreement:

Ten Articles Relating to Important

Events and Timelines

 

 

CONTENTS

  1. "Nuclear Supplier Group OKs Landmark U.S.-India Nuke Deal: India promises not to allow proliferation;
    NSG approval follows the IAEA's August 1, 2008, signoff on U.S.-India agreement," William J. Kole,
    Associated Press, September 6, 2008

      

  2. "IAEA approves India-specific Safeguards Agreement," AndhraNews.net, August 1, 2008
      

  3. "Initial IAEA agreement reached on U.S. nuke deal, but wait for the Additional Protocol," Sheela Bhatt
    in New Delhi,
    The Rediff Special, May 9, 2008
       

  4. "Nuclear deal a problem of politics: Kakodkar," Rediff India Abroad, April 18, 2008
       

  5. "Lack of consensus on N-deal is a major handicap: NSA," Rediff India Abroad, March 27, 2008
       

  6. "India’s nuclear negotiators have not learned from the Tarapur experience: Negotiators appear to have
    forgotten that the U.S. unilaterally abrogates, agreements,"
    Dr. A.N. Prasad,
    Rediff India Abroad,
    January 11, 2008

         

  7. "U.S. assures India the Hyde Act is not binding on India: President George W. Bush has said the
    Hyde Act is not even binding on him. He takes Congress' Hyde Act to be only 'advisory'. But what
    will the U.S. Congress say?,"
    Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC, Rediff India Abroad, April 24, 2008
         

  8. "U.S. Senators Tell Dr. Singh Time is Running out for Nuke Deal: Senators Joseph Biden, John
    Kerry  and Chuck Hagel
    take initiative in conducting U.S. foreign policy," Rediff India Abroad,
    February 20, 2008
         

  9. "Timeline relative to Indian political opposition to the Indo-U.S. civilian nuclear agreement"
          

  10. "The U.S.-India Nuclear Tango: an extensive list of articles on the India-United States nuclear
    agreement," Rediff India Abroad, September 6, 2008


 

 

 

Nuclear Supplier Group OKs
Landmark U.S.-India Nuke Deal


India promises not to allow proliferation;
NSG approval follows the IAEA's
August 1, 2008, signoff on U.S.-India
agreement



William J. Kole

Associated Press
September 6, 2008


Nations that supply nuclear material and technology overcame fierce obstacles Saturday [September 6, 2008] and approved a landmark U.S. plan to engage in atomic trade with India — a deal that reverses more than three decades of American policy.

The Nuclear Suppliers Group, which governs the legal world trade in nuclear components and know-how, signed off on the deal after three days of contentious talks and some concessions to countries fearful it could set a dangerous precedent.

"Today we have reached a landmark decision to allow for civilian nuclear trade with India," John Rood, acting U.S. undersecretary of state for arms control issues, told reporters.

"This is a historical moment for the 45-nation NSG, for India and for India's relations with the rest of the world," he said.

Austria, one of the holdouts along with Ireland and New Zealand, said it lifted its objections after India pledged on Friday not to touch off a new nuclear arms race or share sensitive nuclear technology with other countries.

In a statement, the Austrian government called that pledge "decisive," and Rood said it "played a major role" in removing obstacles to an agreement.

India has tested atomic weapons and refused to sign international nonproliferation treaties.

The U.S. needed approval from the nuclear group, which governs the legal trade in nuclear components and technology, and from the International Atomic Energy Agency, which signed off on the deal last month [August 1, 2008].

"We're very pleased that we were able to reach a compromise that everyone could live with," said the chief British envoy, Simon Smith.

But the plan still needs backing from U.S. Congress, and the Bush administration must now race to get approval before lawmakers recess for the rest of the year to devote time to their re-election campaigns.

Before the 45-nation nuclear group approved the deal, U.S. officials had contended that selling peaceful nuclear technology to India would bring the country's atomic program under closer scrutiny and boost — not undermine — international nonproliferation efforts.

Rood said it would help meet India's growing energy needs while helping the developing country — a major polluter — cut back on harmful emissions that experts warn are contributing to global warming.

The group was founded as a direct result of India's 1974 atomic test blasts. India tested nuclear weapons most recently in 1998, and opponents have expressed concerns that bending the rules to allow nuclear trade with New Delhi undermines the global effort to discourage the production of weapons of mass destruction.

Officials said Saturday's breakthrough came after U.S. President George W. Bush personally intervened to lobby allies at the nuclear group to approve the trade waiver.

"The U.S. government engaged in an intense diplomatic effort," Rood said.

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Washington-based Arms Control Association, accused the U.S. delegation of resorting to "some nasty threats, misinformation about positions and intimidation to try to wear down" the three holdout countries. U.S. officials had no immediate comment.


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IAEA approves India-specific
Safeguards Agreement

 

AndhraNews.net

 

August 1, 2008

 

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors on Friday approved the India-specific safeguards agreement by consensus.

Vienna, 1 August 2008: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors on Friday approved the India-specific safeguards agreement by consensus.

It is a key step towards finalizing the Indo-US nuclear deal and bringing India closer to ending nuclear isolation. The agreement got the nod from the 35-member Board of Governors of the IAEA after a three-hour meeting in Vienna on Friday.

After go ahead by the IAEA, India still needs a waiver from the 45-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) for resumption of nuclear trade and approval by the US Congress before the deal comes into force.

The nuke accord may come before the US Congress for ratification sometime next month once the NSG clearance is obtained.

After the meeting, the Board of governors authorized IAEA Director General Muhammed ElBaradei to conclude with the Indian government and subsequently implement the India-specific safeguards pact.

Earlier, strongly backing the India specific safeguards agreement, Mohamed EL Baradei has said it satisfies India's needs while maintaining all the legal requirements of the United Nations atomic watchdog.

Tabling the draft Agreement before the Board of Governors, he said the agreement's umbrella nature provides a more efficient mechanism for ensuring that safeguards requirements can be met.

Elbaradei said the India specific safeguards agreement could also be used for the conclusion of other 66 type safeguards agreements.

He said according to India's Plan, which has been circulated for the information of all IAEA Member States, a total of 14 reactors are envisaged to come under Agency safeguards by 2014.

He added that six of them are already under IAEA supervision. He said IAEA expected to start implementing the agreement at new facilities in 2009.

In the first reaction from the Indian government, Union Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal voiced optimism that New Delhi will get a "clean and unconditional" exemption at the NSG, which is likely to meet around 21st of this month in Vienna.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmahan Singh also welcomed the approval of India specific safeguard agreement by the IAEA Board of Governors and described it as an important day for the country and also for the civil nuclear initiative for the resumption of India's cooperation with other friends.

In a statement read out by the Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon, Dr. Singh said the civil nuclear initiative is not only good for India but for the entire world.

He said, as India moves towards its goal of sustainable development and energy security, the peaceful uses of atomic energy will play an increasingly important role.

The Prime Minister expressed gratitude to the members of the IAEA Board of Governors, to India's partners and friends abroad and in particular the USA for making this important step possible.

He said the Director General of the IAEA Dr. El Baradei has played a significant role and India looks forward to working with him and his agency in implementing this agreement.


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Initial IAEA agreement reached on U.S. nuke
deal, but wait for the Additional Protocol


Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi

The Rediff Special

May 9, 2008

 

On May 7, 2008, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh once again reiterated that he was hopeful about the India-US nuclear agreement being sealed. Obviously, it's difficult to not take his views seriously.

 

Silencing media speculation that the deal was dead, Dr Singh said, “I am hopeful so long as we are discussing it.”

 

The prime minister's hope must have been because the final draft of the safeguards agreement between India and the International Atomic Energy Agency had arrived.

 

The political posturing by Dr. Singh could be because the United Progressive Alliance government believes that India has bargained successfully at the IAEA.

 

rediff.com has collected from various sources reliable information on what has been India's gains and losses at the IAEA. None of the sources are ready to speak on record.

 

The agreement, which is still not made public, is finalized but not yet 'operationalized' by the government due to severe opposition from the Left parties. It is a 20-page plus document with a long preamble that explains the circumstances under which these negotiations were held after the Indo-US civil nuclear co-operation was signed in 2005.

 

1. According to information available, in the final drafts between India and the IAEA, India is accorded special status but is unlikely to be recognized clearly as a Nuclear Weapons State. India is expected to get “a special status of Non-Nuclear Weapons State who is not signatory to the NPT”.

 

So, in effect, India is not one among the NWS - the P5, as they are called - but it will be five plus one. India is above Pakistan and North Korea, obviously, but surely not equal to the five declared nuclear powers.

2. Also, it is believed that the agreement with the IAEA will indirectly help India to exit in case of disruptions in supply of fuel to its civil nuclear energy establishments kept under safeguards, and take legal recourse. There will be a legal option available to come out of the safeguards.

 

3. The IAEA wants the issue of guarantee of assured fuel supplies to be dealt between the seller and buyer of fuel. India, the buyer country, will have to tackle it directly with the countries supplying fuel for producing civil nuclear energy.

 

4. Also, the inter-changeability of nuclear establishments kept under civil head and strategic head, available to countries like China, is not expected to be given to India.

 

The IAEA has safeguard agreements with some 140 nations which allow the Agency's inspectors to oversee nuclear and related facilities. These strict agreements protect the world against nuclear proliferation.

 

Before the current discussion with the IAEA started, India had discussed such a safeguards agreement with the IAEA in and around 1993.

 

The latest and highly controversial discussion with the IAEA was conducted by Dr. R B Grover, director, Strategic Planning Group at the Department of Atomic Energy, and his team. Dr. Grover is a mechanical engineer of repute.

 

He has, with the help of his DAE colleagues and a team of Indian diplomats, clinched a very complex agreement which will bind India in the coming generations.

 

Dr. Singh's positivism is because of his deep political conviction that this deal is good for India, but there are many hurdles at every step ahead including at the IAEA. Also, one cannot forget that the critics of the deal within India, like the Left and the Bharatiya Janata Party, will not be satisfied with the favorable conditions of the India-specific safeguards agreement because they are more worried about the implications of the Hyde Act and the additional protocols agreement which the Singh government has not yet brokered with the IAEA.

 

That raises the question: Is the prime minister's hope realistic?

 

In the unlikely circumstances of the Left agreeing to give a green signal to move the India-specific agreement to the IAEA board for ratification, it will be a hard task to manage a “clean exemption” from the IAEA board of governors and, later, from the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

 

The official position is that the Left-UPA meeting on May 6 on the nuclear deal failed to make any advance, and the two sides decided to meet again on May 28. The Left parties are saying they would meet on May 23 to decide on whether or not to allow the IAEA safeguards agreement.

 

Media reports claim that the Left parties want clarifications on guaranteed uninterrupted fuel supplies, full civil nuclear cooperation, the issue of reciprocity and implications of America's domestic Hyde Act on India's foreign and security policies.

 

This means that the Left parties have not moved an inch towards agreeing with the government's point of view even after eight meetings and after taking so much time. But, then, it may not be the correct conclusion because it is worth noting that the Left parties have not walked out of the meeting or stopped talking to the government. If the deal with the IAEA was not worthy of deliberations, they would have walked out and would have pulled the shutters down.

 

Also, it is strange to observe that at least officially speaking, the much-awaited final text of the safeguards agreement which India is stated to have concluded with the IAEA has been a no-show at the May 6 meeting of the Joint Committee with the Left parties. It is paradoxical that even those members who are most crucial in the decision-making process, leave alone the public, are denied access to scrutinise the full text while many in the international community, particularly those from the NSG countries, must be scanning it with a microscope!

 

The safeguards agreements being highly loaded legal documents couched in language usually subject to various interpretations, require careful scrutiny. Serious decisions based on excerpts could be misleading. So what kind of discussions will the Left parties do without the actual text?

 

One important aspect not focused in the ongoing debate so far as the India-specific safeguards negotiations with the IAEA is concerned, is the need for arriving at a satisfactory additional protocol to the safeguards agreement.

 

The Opposition to the deal is unlikely to go because the two (India-specific agreements and the additional protocol) are inseparable, and in fact the additional protocol spells out in specific terms and in detail the extent of intrusiveness with which the safeguards measures will be implemented. In short, while the basic safeguards agreement deals with broad parameters and the legalities, the additional protocol lists the stringent inspection measures as well as the contentious issues which can touch upon national pride.

 

The two are complementary. Hence, the critics of the deal argue, it is very essential to understand that even if the safeguards agreement is satisfactorily negotiated, the job is not fully done until the additional protocol is also complete and meets India's interests, in order to avoid future problems. The critics have already argued many times that if taken up later, it could likely be exposed to extraneous stringent provisions being introduced when the focus is off, conceding all the leverage away. In fact, in practice, the additional protocol is more difficult to deal with, even for countries like Japan.

 

Neither External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee nor the Left parties, or the BJP for that matter, have spoken much on the issue of additional protocol publicly.

 

The text of the safeguards agreement is expected to address issues such as corrective measures and exercise of right of return (fuel or equipment) by suppliers in case of disruption of supplies or cessation of cooperation due to any of the reasons mentioned in the Hyde Act, as well as how assurances of uranium supply will be tied to safeguards in perpetuity.

 

Although India is a de facto nuclear power, since it has no formal recognition as a weapons state the safeguards arrangement, particularly the additional protocol as and when negotiated, may include safeguards provisions as applicable to non-weapon states.

 

For example, Nuclear Weapon States enjoy the freedom of switching and choosing nuclear facilities and materials for inclusion in the civil or military category at will, which is denied to India and expected to be denied to India.

According to information available, India is allowed to keep the certain portion of activity out of the IAEA's purview.

 

America's precondition is that India may get uranium from foreign countries to produce nuclear energy. To make that possible India needs to separate and place under IAEA safeguards its civil nuclear energy program as distinct from weapons production units. This is the strategy to get India into the mainstream of nuclear non-proliferation regime.

Also, a significant privilege that P5 enjoys is not given to India in this unique and trend-setting agreement. The
United States has certain unique rights in the name of its 'national security interest' in the agreement with the IAEA while China has the right to not put its own program under additional protocols.

 

India has already agreed to put under safeguards its own internally developed civil nuclear energy program (Kakrapar, Rajasthan etc) in this agreement which is irreversible unlike in the case of nuclear weapon states like China.

 

Critics of the deal think the nuclear deal in its present form is anchored on the Hyde Act which has been promulgated exclusively to 'fix' India. In short, the Left parties will continue opposing the deal even if India has got the best terms from the IAEA. The issue is the 123 Agreement and its linkages to the Hyde Act.

 

The joint UPA-Left committee has not moved an inch on resolving this contentious issue. Innumerable time assurances and spins have been given both by India and the US to the effect that the Hyde Act is not binding as it is only an enabling document for cooperation and only the 123 Agreement matters.

 

None of the parties opposing the deal has accepted this.

 

Rather, critics never fail to cite the glaring precedent with the Tarapur power plant. The 1963 bilateral 123 Agreement was unilaterally abrogated by the US after India's nuclear test in May 1974 and a new Act called the Nuclear Non-proliferation Act passed in 1978 was made applicable.

 

Critics of the deal will not be satisfied with the safeguards agreement because they are more worried about the implications of the Hyde Act and the additional protocols agreement which the Singh government has not yet brokered with the IAEA.

 

In view of the above arguments, one wonders what makes Dr. Singh so hopeful of the deal going through.

 

BJP MPs in Parliament say if the Congress does well in the Karnataka assembly election the government will go ahead with the nuclear deal and a consequent early general election since the Left will pull the government down.

Now, to link the highly complex matter of international affairs of nuclear proliferation and
India's foreign policy to a state election is like anti-climax for India which wants to become a superpower in the coming decades.

Will the hopeful Dr. Singh be spared of despair after the Karnataka election results are announced?

 


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Nuclear deal a problem
of politics: Kakodkar



Rediff India Abroad
April 18, 2008

 

Noting that the India-United States civilian nuclear deal is “more of a problem of politics”, Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar on Friday hoped that differences on the issue would be sorted out sooner than later, enabling India to step up nuclear power generation.

"It is more a problem of politics. I won't be in a position to answer that question," he said in reply to a query on when he expects to clinch the deal.

Asked if more needs to be achieved on the safeguards with the global nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) - Kakodkar told NDTV, "Nothing is final till everything is final and everything is obviously not final".

The top nuclear scientist said he "only hoped that things (related to the nuclear deal) work out sooner than later".

Kakodkar said he would be able to accelerate the domestic program to produce nuclear power if he got “inputs from outside”.

"In any case, the domestic efforts are on and we hope to meet the domestic program needs on the basis of domestic strengths. If external inputs are available so much the better," he said.

Asked whether the stalemate on the deal was affecting the domestic program, Kakodkar said, "The fact is the domestic program was 10,000 MW. The question is at what rate I will be able to produce it and how fast. If we get inputs from outside, we can do that much faster".


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Lack of consensus on N-deal
is a major handicap: NSA

Rediff India Abroad
March 27, 2008


In an apparent reference to the Left parties' opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal, National Security Adviser M K Narayanan on Wednesday said the lack of consensus on the issue was hampering efforts to become a part of nuclear mainstream and needed an early resolution.

He said opposition to the nuclear deal within the country is driven by 'considerations' other than the factors like non-proliferation cited by some members of the international community.

He noted that India already has a close relationship with countries like Russia and France in the nuclear power sector and that the atomic deal with the US will open doors for commerce with the international community.

He said firming up the safeguards agreement with the IAEA and seeking waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers Group as part of the Indo-US atomic deal were essential steps towards entering the nuclear mainstream.

"Absence of a consensus within the country has been a major handicap (in seeking commerce with international community). It has put matters on hold and it needs a resolution earlier than later," Narayanan said.

He was obviously referring to the Left parties, whose opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal has put the agreement on the back-burner.


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India’s nuclear negotiators have not
learned from the Tarapur experience

 


Negotiators appear to have forgotten that
the U.S. unilaterally abrogates, agreements,

 


Dr. A.N. Prasad

 

Rediff India Abroad

 January 11, 2008

 

Dr. A.N. Prasad is a former director, Bhabha Atomic Research
Centre, and former member, Atomic Energy Commission


With the negotiations in progress regarding the IAEA safeguards agreement, the Indo-US nuclear deal seems to be inching forward to bring it in shape so as to facilitate clinching the same subject to the political hurdles being overcome. To what extent the pros and cons of the deal, hotly debated in the media and elsewhere so far, will have ultimate effect on the final outcome is not clear.

Since the implementation of the deal is "showcased" essentially in the way and the intensity with which the safeguards implementation is carried out, it is important to ensure that all the basic concerns are properly addressed technically as well as legally. Any laxity at this stage could prove disastrous in the long run as safeguards agreements with the IAEA, once in place, are practically irrevocable, more so when the commitments are in perpetuity. It is in this context it may be appropriate to examine some of the issues of concern in negotiating the safeguards agreement.

The US has made it clear both in the Hyde Act as well as clarifications issued subsequent to the finalization of the 123 Agreement text that the safeguards agreement has to follow the standard IAEA practices, while India has committed to an “India-specific” agreement. It would have been better if India had insisted right at the beginning and managed to get a safeguards arrangement similar to the one applicable to the weapons states. This would have been in the spirit of the July 18, 2005, joint statement where there was an expression of intent that India will be treated at par with other advanced countries such as the US.

Unfortunately this is not to be. In fact throughout the evolution of the deal, since India has not insisted on the parity issue and resigned itself to playing second fiddle as a “client” State, there are problems galore in having to contend with a deal with conditions heavily loaded against India on technical and economic issues with political overtones.

The IAEA, as per established safeguards practice in dealing with non-weapon States not party to the non-proliferation treaty, will try to stick to the format of its own document INFCIRC 66/Rev2 with the major difference that even those facilities wholly designed and built by India and the R&D institutions as listed in the separation plan which were hitherto outside the scope of safeguards, as well as all the future civil facilities which will grow substantially in numbers, will be included in the safeguards agreement compulsorily with all the implications, even though in the separation plan document it is stated that the facilities which are to come under civil list will be decided solely by India, obviously only on paper! In contrast, the nuclear weapon States enjoy the privilege of moving facilities from civil to military and vice-versa, a flexibility denied to India.

One of the most contentious issues to be resolved while negotiating the safeguards agreement is to address the assurances of fuel supply and building-up strategic reserve to be linked to India agreeing to safeguards in perpetuity. This is a commitment to the nation by the prime minister himself.

The so-called “corrective measures” should address this as well as various other issues such as fate of safeguards agreement when the cooperation agreement gets abrogated or terminated for any reason enumerated in the Hyde Act or any changes, revisions or new Acts passed by the US in future as it happened in the case of the Tarapur agreement when the 1963 Indo-US bilateral agreement was unilaterally dumped by the US when a new nuclear non-proliferation Act (NNPA) was promulgated in 1978 in the aftermath of the 1974 nuclear test by India.

This concern is relevant because in the 123 Agreement India has initialed a blank check by agreeing to abide by the US national laws without any qualification by which it gets exposed to any future damaging changes in law. The 123 Agreement also has no provision for arbitration in case disagreement persists. In fact, it could be said, 123 Agreement provides India with generous opportunities to hold bilateral consultations to resolve disputes with no leverage, leaving the ultimate decision to US to be taken as per their national laws.

Unfortunately, India does not have laws to match the one like the Hyde Act which surely will dominate the operation of the agreement from behind with 123 staying in front for whatever it is worth contrary to what the supporters of the deal are swearing!

The way the sequencing of actions has evolved, it is clear that the Nuclear Suppliers Group wishes to see India firmly fixed in a system of commitment in perpetuity with IAEA by initialing and then unleash their own conditions for making changes in their guidelines. In all probability the NSG will prominently demand no testing by India in future as a precondition. There could be other conditions as well. To forestall these dangers, India while finalizing the safeguards agreement with IAEA should proactively avoid getting into a trap by insisting on clear unambiguous language.

This is important because in trying to get over stalemates on technical issues, diplomats under advice from politicians could find language fixes and push the issue to be resolved later when the focus is off. This could be really damaging in the long run. In fact, this is what has happened in the case of the finalization of the 123 Agreement which is a fine piece of artistry in language but quite damaging in content!

One classic example is, the way the core issue of “reprocessing” is dealt with in the 123 text, which, in all probability, will tie India up in all sorts of knots forcing India to wade through uncertainties. It is unfortunate, the negotiators have not learned from Tarapur experience.

It will be interesting to know how this is being dealt with in the safeguards agreement.   

One other aspect, which is crucial, is the status of discussion on the protocol additional to the safeguards agreement, which India has agreed to enter into. This is a document which cannot be taken lightly as it will include all the intrusive provisions of safeguards inspections. There is a possibility this could be under wrap or deferred to avoid immediate stalemate. This needs to be gone into in detail before taking any decision to go forward.

The pattern of presentation of the crucial documents to public scrutiny is now set. The 123 Agreement was initialed and presented as a fait-accompli and it appears the same may be done in the case of the safeguards agreement with the IAEA. Instead of discussing the content and extent of damage without any scope for constructive suggestions and changes, one may be left with discussing the status and legality of “initialing” vis-a-vis “signing' the document!!


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U.S. assures India the Hyde
Act is not binding on India

 


President George W. Bush has said the Hyde
Act is not even binding on him.
 He takes the
Hyde Act to be only 'advisory'.
 But what will
the U.S. Congress say?

 
Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC

 

Rediff India Abroad

April 24, 2008


The Bush administration's point man for South Asia, Richard Boucher, pressed by rediff.com to clearly state for the record if India is bound by the Hyde Act or the bilateral 123 Agreement, has said it is only the latter that is binding on India.

Boucher, who is the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, was asked by rediff.com not to dodge the question but to clearly articulate which one was binding on India the Hyde Act or the 123 Agreement.  US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had recently assured the Congress that for the nuclear deal to be consummated, it has to be consistent with the Hyde Act.
 
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi, during his recent visit to Washington, declared that the Indian stand is clear and the nation is bound only by the 123 agreement.

"We don't see any inconsistency between the Hyde Act and the 123 agreement. The requirements of US law are requirements on us for us to meet. Just remember the essential function of the Hyde Act. The essential function of the Hyde Act is to allow this to happen to empower us, to engender, to enable a nuclear deal with India, because otherwise, under the US law, we were prohibited from doing anything with India," Boucher explained.
 
"The Hyde Act is what makes it possible to conclude this agreement. So that's what we have done. That's what the Hyde Act told us we could do, and we've gone out and done that," he added.
 
"We've done an agreement the agreement binds the US and India once it's fully ratified and finished. But it's essentially the deal between the US and India and we don't see any inconsistency between what we were allowed to do and required to do under the Hyde Act, (which) was to negotiate," he said.
 
"Our posture as negotiators was consistent with the Hyde Act. And, therefore, we think that the deal that we negotiated is consistent with the Hyde Act," Boucher stressed.
 
"But what binds India and the United States together is the 123 Agreement, not the (Hyde) Act," he said.
 
During his visit to Washington, Singhvi had said that there is no way India's foreign policy will be congruent with the US policy, and described the Hyde Act as "clearly the biggest bug-bear,
the red rag to a raging bull."
 
Singhvi recalled during an address at the Heritage Foundation
, a conservative think tank in Washington - "when the Hyde Act was signed into llaw, the US President had made explicit declarations that these parts of the Hyde Act are advisory and not binding."
 
He said the provisions in the Hyde Act, which has attracted strong opposition from the Left Front and the Bharatiya Janata Party, "obviously will not be congruent to any country's foreign policy."
 
"They may be reflections of the US foreign policy, but they are not necessarily congruent with other countries' foreign policy," he had said.
 
Referring to certain provisions of the Hyde Act, Singhvi said, "There is no way in which we can stop dealing with Iran. There is no way in which we can send troops to Iraq."
 
"There is no way in which these provisions are ever going to be accepted or implemented by
India," Singhvi argued.
 
"As far as interpretation is concerned, they involve the US President's certification of compliance. That's internal to the
United States, but certainly not Indian compliance directly," Singhvi added.

Earlier, during his briefing, Boucher once again reiterated the administration's concern that time is running out on the nuclear deal. "The issue is that our election imposes on us a certain calendar of bills that expire, people that change and outcomes that are less certain," he said.
 
He pointed out that chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Joe Biden, during his recent visit to New Delhi, had warned that time was running out.
 
Boucher said that Biden had told the Indian government, "Unless we can get this deal up to the Congress in June, so that we can deal with it in July, it's going to be really hard to get an approval from the Congress. Okay, that's just a fact of life in the United States;
that's the Congressional calendar. We've got to get their approval to do this."
 
"So, every day that goes by makes it harder and harder and harder to get that done," he said.
 
Boucher acknowledged that "so we are, you know, still a bit worried about it all. But we're fully supportive;
we respect the Indian democratic process, as they work through this. They'll be the ones to tell us when it is time to go to the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency, when it is time to go to the Nuclear Suppliers Group and when we can get it to our Congress."
 
"But as I say," he reiterated, "every day that goes by makes it harder. But that is as much as we know right now."


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U.S. senators tell Dr. Singh time
is running out for nuke deal

 

Senators Joseph Biden, John Kerry  and Chuck Hagel
take initiative in conducting U.S. foreign policy


Rediff India Abroad

 February 20, 2008

 

Pressing India to speed up the implementation of the India-United States nuclear agreement, three influential Senators on Wednesday said the negotiations with the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Nuclear Suppliers Group should be wound up by May, failing which, New Delhi will not get a similar deal again.

Senators Joseph Biden, John Kerry and Chuck Hagel, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Wedensday, said if the deal is not taken up in the US Congress by June and the process completed during the tenure of President George W Bush, any new US administration will renegotiate the deal.

They talked about the possibility of Indo-US relations being affected if the deal does not go through, saying there could be misunderstandings in India and questions as to whether the failure was deliberate by the US Congress.

During the meeting, Dr Singh told them about the dilemma and difficulties of his government because of coalition but remained optimistic about concluding the deal, the Senators told a press conference.

"We are running out of time. The clock is running," said Biden, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, when asked what message they conveyed to Singh.

Biden said India will have to firm up the safeguards agreement with the IAEA and seek waiver from the 45-nation NSG before June to enable the US Congress to vote on it.

"If the deal is not before the Senate by early June, there will be little chance (of the deal going through)," he said, adding there would be practical problems as the Congress will have only 20 sittings during which issues related to US budget will dominate.

"In order to be able to have time (for the deal) to be passed in the Senate, we really probably have to receive it in May. So, I think, somewhere in the next weeks, the decision has got to happen," Kerry said.

"If it government sends it (deal) to us at the last minute and if we are not able to get it done, then it will be seen here in India as a rejection or lack of trust (by the US Congress). That will be a terrible shame," Biden said.

"If the deal does not get through, it will be very complicated. It will have an indirect impact on the Indo-US relationship. You will begin to question, 'the US does not trust us?'... the only worry is misunderstanding will flow," the Democrat Senator from Delaware said.

"Our only concern is that if the (Indian) government does not move in a timely fashion, those who do not value our relationship, will play mischief in future," he said.

Noting that Dr Singh was committed to the deal as it was incredibly important for the bilateral relations, he said, "the Prime Minister is still optimistic."

Hagel said if the deal is not ratified by the Congress during Bush's tenure, the next administration, whoever the President is, will renegotiate the agreement. "It will not be the same agreement," he said.

Pointing out that the US values India, Biden said it should be brought to the table of discussion on overhauling global non-proliferation system, which the Democrats want.

He said some other countries also approached the US for a similar deal but it was turned down as India is special and is a non-proliferator. "There are a number of senators who will not be sad or disappointed if the deal does not come through as they feel it is one-sided and favors India," Biden said.

"It is in India's interest (to move fast on the deal). It is India's decision," he added, indicating that it was not a pressure tactic but a statement of facts. He said if India sends the deal to the US at the last moment, it will not go through and it could be seen in India as a rejection.

"That will be a wrong message. We trust India. We trust Indians. We value very much India being brought to the nuclear table," Biden said.

"Our common interests go beyond the nuclear agreement. We need to be partners and stay engaged," Hagel said. The US views its relationship with India much beyond the civil nuclear agreement and Dr Singh emphasized the incredible importance of it, he said.

"We asked the Prime Minister whether or not this (deal) was over and he said 'no'," Biden said.

He said that Dr Singh still appeared optimistic about the nuclear deal and explained the difficulties faced by the government, within the country, regarding the agreement. The senators also held talks with National Security Advisor M K Narayanan and had a luncheon meeting with some Parliamentarians.


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Timeline relative to Indian political opposition
to the Indo-U.S. Civilian Nuclear Agreement

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

The U.S.-India Nuclear Tango: an extensive
list of articles on the India-United States
nuclear agreement

 


Rediff India Abroad

 September 6, 2008

 

 

September 06, 2008

India gets NSG waiver by consensus
NSG meet: PM holds talks with Pranab, NSA
'India's statement has given a positive momentum'
NSG puts off India decision to Saturday
NSG waiver: Hectic negotiations on in Vienna

 

September 05, 2008

Vienna: India walks NSG tightrope
Govt seeks to allay apprehensions of NSG members
'Committed to voluntary moratorium on N-test'
Indian officials meet reps of sceptic NSG nations
'Only minor progress at NSG meet'
US denies N-document cover up
NSG waiver: Indian officials work overtime
NSG inches closer to ending India's N-isolation

 

September 04, 2008

CPM to join other parties to vote out UPA govt
India can't go beyond its commitment to Parliament
Document disclosure is routine, says Blackwil
Deal gives adequate protection to India
Status quo on N-deal has not changed: Sibal
NSG mulls revised waiver draft
'Letter shows the US negotiated in bad faith'
UPA government cheated people on N-deal: Karat
Mulford meets prime minister over N-deal
Revised waiver draft for consultation among NSG
BJP to move privilege motion against PM
Berman unapologetic about timing of release of doc

 

September 03, 2008

'N-deal will be a non-proliferation disaster'
India gears up for nail-biting finish at NSG meet
Secret letters say US will pull out if India tests
N-deal: US will push for waiver in NSG

 

September 02, 2008

Survivors of Nagasaki bombing oppose N-deal
'US Congress may return for Lame-Duck session
China says it won't obstruct India at NSG meet
UPA will have to face the people on N-deal: CPM

 

September 01, 2008

China: People's Daily questions Indo-US N-deal

 

August 30, 2008

PM meets Sonia, discusses revised NSG draft
India talks tough on NSG waiver

 

August 29, 2008

India wants clean NSG waiver: Mukherjee
'India's demands are too unreasonable for NSG'

 

August 26, 2008

N-deal: China remains non-committal
N-deal prime focus of US nuclear policy: Rice

 

August 25, 2008

Menon meets Burns, discusses nuclear deal
Committed to working with India on NSG nod: US

 

August 24, 2008

NSG draft: Government holds high-level meeting

 

August 23, 2008

India won't accept prescriptive conditionalities
India, US set to fine-tune draft waiver
NSG meeting constructive and useful: Menon

 

August 22, 2008

No NSG decision on India waiver, next meet in Sept
Will not obstruct Indo-US N-deal: Pakistan
Kakodkar for talks on uranium mining in Meghalaya
US hints at changes in draft NSG waiver
NSG resumes discussions on waiver to India
N-deal: 'NSG nod will power India's growth'
N-deal: 'Why should India get a free pass?'

 

August 21, 2008

India holds special briefing for NSG members
NSG waiver may take time: US

 

August 20, 2008

India urged to sign CTBT
We are aware of N-deal's importance: Ireland
Menon to brief NSG troika ahead of Vienna meet
NSG nod to India-specific waiver unlikely: Critic

 

August 17, 2008

India still hopeful about exemption from NSG
Switzerland to support India at NSG meet

 

August 16, 2008

Experts ask NSG to reject India-specific exemption

 

August 14, 2008

US proposal on India agreement an abomination'

 

August 13, 2008

Left Front overestimates USA: Amartya Sen

 

August 12, 2008

India hopes China will help at NSG
India pins its hopes on US, France for NSG nod
'NSG may meet again to finalise waiver for India'

 

August 08, 2008

Switzerland may not block waiver for India at NSG
N-deal: Berman's salvo was not expected this early
N-deal will not supersede domestic law: US
US Under Secretary Burns likely to visit India

 

August 07, 2008

US lawmaker opposes NSG exemption for India

 

August 06, 2008

N-deal: Indian-Americans swing to action again

 

August 05, 2008

New conditions will nullify IAEA pact: India
India should sign NPT, CTBT: Japan
US Congress likely to discuss N-deal on Sept 8
Japan may back India at NSG

 

August 03, 2008

US vows to push through NSG process

 

August 02, 2008

NSG support: India seeks US help
Lot of work has to be done ahead of NSG meet: US
N-deal: Canada may back India at NSG
What N-deal really means for some in India

 

August 01, 2008

An important day for India, says PM
IAEA clears India safeguards agreement
'US seeking to turn India into military base'
China, Pak may abstain in case of IAEA vote
NPT lobby resigns to India vote at IAEA

 

July 31, 2008

Pak cannot expect India-like N-deal: US
US can terminate N-deal if India conducts tests
Why Friday's IAEA meet is crucial for India
N-deal: 'US has given India a blank cheque'

 

July 30, 2008

India's N-chief in Vienna for IAEA meet
N-deal: Positive response from NSG, IAEA members

 

July 25, 2008

PM talks to world leaders on N-deal
US confident of IAEA, NSG nod for N-deal
India to lobby hard with China over N-deal
No compromise on India's strategic programme: DAE
PM calls Russian Prez; N-deal on agenda?

 

July 24, 2008

Bush calls up PM
Difficult to fix time frame for N-deal: Pranab
India, US talk to finalise N-deal
Government open to amending law to scuttle Hyde Ac
China studying India-IAEA safeguards agreement
'PM not a mere politician but a statesman'
McCain roots for N-deal; takes a swipe at Obama
Tough to take up N-deal this year, say US politico
India's step forward on N-deal pleases US

 

July 23, 2008

N-deal: India confident of IAEA approval
ASEAN terms N-deal positive
US hopes to wrap up N-deal

 

July 22, 2008

Iran factor may derail Indo-US relations

 

July 21, 2008

Menon confident of IAEA exemption
Ronen Sen slams 'those who oppose tech'

 

July 19, 2008

Centre hints at taking steps to counter Hyde Act
Foreign secretary briefs IAEA Board, NSG members

 

July 18, 2008

N-deal: Foreign Secretary Menon meets IAEA chief

 

July 17, 2008

China will not object at IAEA
France backs India ahead of IAEA meet
Cong, CPM workers clash in Srinagar over N-deal
Is the N-deal good? Debate rages
N-deal won't affect foreign policy: Sonia
US sends top bureaucrat to bat for India
India to brief IAEA in Vienna tomorrow

 

July 16, 2008

Nuclear deal worth the risk, says Rahul Gandhi
Closing N-deal very difficult now: US Senator
India to brief IAEA board, NSG nations on July 18

 

July 15, 2008

Trust vote: TRS to vote against UPA government
France to back India at IAEA, NSG
JMM keeps UPA guessing on trust vote
Sonia meets top Congress leaders
Trust vote: JD-S may vote against Congress
Please don't quit, SP tells Somnath
PM not Advani changed stand on N-deal: BJP
N-deal vote: Shahabuddin moves HC for permission
BJP issues trust vote whip, Akalis dont
Maya rushes aide to jailed party MP
Jailed ex-SP MP Atiq can take part in trust vote
Karat blames PM, Congress for coalition's collapse
Trust vote poses tough choice for Gowda
Omar Abdullah to decide NC support for trust vote
No threat to our foreign policy: PM
India to brief IAEA board of governors on July 18

 

July 14, 2008

Kalam hasn't changed stand on N-deal: Congress
IAEA board to meet over N-deal on Aug 1
Government rubbishes Bardhan's allegations
'Kalam changed his stance on N-deal'
UPA buying MPs, charges Bardhan
Bengal minister questions CPI-M's stand on N-deal
RJD to get jailed MPs for trust vote
SP rebel warns Cong of SP's opportunism
There is deal behind N-deal alliance: Shatrughan
Left plans to carry its battle to the people
Centre pushing N-Deal to cover up failure: BJP
To quit or not: Speaker yet to decide

 

July 13, 2008

Trust vote: TRS plays tough with Centre
Maya's call to Naidu raises UNPA's hopes
Marxists may back Congress post election
Numbers game clearly favours nobody
Pranab meets CPM patriarch Jyoti Basu
Left ropes in Maya to topple government

 

July 12, 2008

Worried, but Muslim League will vote for UPA
Pressure mounts on Chatterjee to quit
Trust vote: NPA to vote against UPA
Sovereign interests protected in IAEA deal: Centre
Gowda sets conditions for support to Congress
N-deal: Basu cautions party against hasty decision
Karat has reasons to fume, says RSS
We are yet to take a stand on N-deal: Janata Dal
PM never consulted Sikhs on N-deal: SAD
Left dares Congress to face poll on N-deal issue
'Finally, Congress party showed some spine'

 

July 11, 2008

Lok Sabha session to be summoned on July 21
We are in process of making history: PM
Left in touch with all parties,says Karat
Former NDA advisor Mishra hails N-deal
UNPA's 8 MPs to vote against UPA in Parliament
Advani most favoured PM candidate: Poll
Don't take support of convicted MPs: BJP to Congre
I am reluctant to seek changes in N-deal: Obama
Sonia confident of winning trust vote
N-deal: Special session convened on July 21
Sonia all praise for Left
The trust vote on July 22
Kerala Assembly adopts resolution against N-deal
Safeguards agreement unique: Top scientist
US vows to fulfill its side of N-deal
UPA leaders meet to fine-tune strategy
MNF decision on trust vote by next week
Non-proliferation lobby flays safeguard agreement
N-deal: US welcomes India's step forward
'India-IAEA agreement worse than useless'
Numbers game on, Cong reaches out to Opposition
Punters bet high on UPA trust vote win

 

July 10, 2008

US expert claims flaws in India's safeguards text
Will seek trust vote at the earliest, PM to Prez
N-deal: Crucial UPA meeting on Friday
Advani fears horse trading
Only Cong, SP can help Muslims: Shia body
N-deal: PM meets US envoy
Back the N-deal: Sri Sri
Request does not mean going to IAEA: Congress
SP tries to keep rebels from joining BSP
Scientists wary of safeguards agreement text
Speaker gives broad hints of not quitting
PM to meet President this evening
India's strategic programme out of IAEA ambit
We are with BJP, says Akali Dal
Pranab briefs PM on developments
India expects smooth passage in IAEA
Government's move a shocking betrayal: Left
Government unveils the safeguards text agreement
US will do whatever it can if India moves forward
PM has misled the nation: BJP
Non-proliferation lobby flays safeguard deal
G-8 to support N-deal; PM returns from Japan
IAEA safeguards draft can't be public: Kakodkar
Mulford meets envoys of NSG nations
Left, BJP surprised by government's IAEA move

 

July 09, 2008

Call emergency session of Parliament in a week:BJP
N-deal may not get through current Senate session
Samajwadi MP says 7 will vote against UPA
After NSG ok, India doesn't really need the US
Sikkim Democratic Front endorses N-deal
Independents back N-deal; may support UPA
G-8 backs Indo-US civil nuclear deal
MDMK to vote against UPA government
'Nuclear energy option inevitable for India'
Now only numbers matter!
Amar Singh gives President list of SP MPs
Fight against notorious N-deal will go on: Left
Left meets President, withdraws support to UPA
Don't juggle with numbers, Sena tells Cong
N-deal discussions hit cyberspace
Australia unlikely to oppose N-deal at NSG
Indo-US ties have moved forward: PM
Prove majority within a week: Advani
N-deal important for both India, US: Bush

 

July 08, 2008

JD-S non-committal on supporting UPA
Govt will seek vote of confidence soon: Pranab
Tough test for President Patil
I respect the Left, says Amar Singh
Why keep IAEA text secret, asks Left
N-deal: China to back India at IAEA
PM to meet Bush on Wednesday
Chronology of politics over N-deal
Full text of IAEA agreement can't be shared: Prana
Left to Pranab: 'That time has come'
BJP plans to ask UPA to show its strength
We will vote for UPA if trust vote is moved: SP
Cong says it has numbers
Left to pull out, to meet Prez tomorrow
PM meets UN general secretary
N-deal: Crucial meeting of Left parties begins
Seeking support for N-deal, PM to meet Bush today

 

July 07, 2008

Left to name economy, foreign policy in letter
India will approach IAEA, says PM
Left to submit pullout letter by Thursday
Left made country's politics bipolar: SP
N-deal is not a religious issue: Muslim body
Left should wait till UPA's next meeting: Antony
SP moves to prevent cross-voting
PM leaves for G-8 Summit in Japan

 

July 06, 2008

Pranab will reply to Left on N-deal: Cong
BJP tried to topple UPA govt, says Amar Singh
Left Parties to charge-sheet Centre

 

July 05, 2008

Majority of Muslims not against N-deal: SP
Left may withdraw support before deadline: Bardhan
Govt relieved after SP support for trust vote
Congress attacks Advani for seeking trust vote
Left awaits Pranab's response on N-deal deadline
UNPA heading for a split over N-deal
Samajwadi Party still undecided on support to UPA
N-deal is the need of the hour, says Lalu
Seek vote of confidence in Parliament: Advani
'History won't forgive if N-deal is not inked'

 

July 04, 2008

We will vote against confidence motion: Left
N-deal: US delegation meets PM
N-deal: Congress rejects deadline set by Left
Mulayam, Sonia meet after five years
'No time-frame can be fixed for approaching IAEA'
Left meet over
Left or no Left, UPA is safe: Paswan
Mulayam favours nuke deal
3 ministerial berths awaiting Samajwadi Party?

 

July 03, 2008

UNPA meet dashes Congress hopes of early SP suppor
Left will decide pullout modalities on Friday
UNPA will now consult experts on nuclear deal
N-deal: US lawmakers stress on August timeline
UNPA meet on nuclear deal begins
Chandrababu Naidu meets top Left leaders
Now it is official: PM will attend G-8 summit

 

July 02, 2008

Congress hopes PM with majority support will go to
Enough time to conclude N-deal, says Saran
Let PM make statement to allay our fears: SP
N-deal: NSA meets Mulayam as revolt brews in SP
Samajwadi Party is against early poll: Amar Singh
PM brushes aside Karat's objection, to attend G-8
Pawar meets Pranab over N-deal
N-deal: Realignment of forces on the cards

 

July 01, 2008

PM meets President amidst N-deal standoff
Sena to play 'crucial' role in N-deal stalemate
Left attacks PM again over N-deal
N-deal is anti-Muslim: Mayawati
Left will pull out before PM leaves for G-8 summit
Lalu meets Sonia amid stand-off on nuclear deal
'NSA to discuss N-deal with me on July 2'
N-deal will be consummated, Ronen Sen tells AAPI
Samajwadi Party talks N-deal with UPA


 

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