U.S./India Nuclear Pact

September 14, 2007

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Yesterday, the Indian Communist Party threatened to withdraw backing for the government if it continued with a nuclear technology deal with the U.S.  If the communists leave the coalition, the government would collapse and new elections would ensue.

India is acknowledged as a nuclear power.  It has detonated nuclear weapons underground, has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), and they allow no inspections of any of their nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Under the new deal, the U.S. would conduct its own inspections of Indian facilities but would not be allowed in any military sites. The treaty has already been approved in the U.S. Congress with little to no public discussion, and its main supporters have been the nuclear plant construction industry as well as the Indian-American lobby. 

Vijay Prashad is Professor and Director of International Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and author of Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World. He's also a Board Member with the Center for Third World Organizing.

Vijay explained the evolution of India's nuclear policy...