July 27, 2007

LEAGUE OF EXCEPTIONAL NATIONS:

U.S. to announce nuclear exception for India (David E. Sanger, July 27, 2007, NY Times)

Three years after President George W. Bush urged global rules to stop additional nations from making nuclear fuel, the White House will announce on Friday that it is carving out an exception for India, in a last-ditch effort to seal a civilian nuclear deal between the countries. [...]

[I]n an interview Thursday, R. Nicholas Burns, the under secretary of state for political affairs, who negotiated the deal, said, "Iran in no way, shape or form would merit similar treatment because Iran is a nuclear outlaw state."

He noted that Iran hid its nuclear activities for many years from international inspectors, and that it still had not answered most of their questions about evidence that could suggest it was seeking weapons.

Because India never signed the treaty, it too was considered a nuclear outlaw for decades. But Bush, eager to place relations with India on a new footing, waived many of the restrictions in order to sign the initial deal. It was heavily supported by Indian-Americans and American nuclear equipment companies, which see a huge potential market for their reactors and expertise.

Representative Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat who opposed the initial deal and said he would try to defeat the new arrangement, said Thursday, "If you make an exception for India, we will be preaching from a barstool to the rest of the world."


Accidentally revealing. While Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush are the sorts of guys you'd like to share a bar with, Mr. Markey could never tell the difference between an ally like El Salvador and an enemy like Nicaragua in the '80s and apparently can't tell India and Iran apart now.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 27, 2007 12:14 PM
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