Decision Time for the US-India Nuclear Cooperation Deal

Tasneem Jamal Nuclear Weapons

Briefing 08-3

Ernie Regehr

The on-again, off-again US-India civilian nuclear cooperation deal is on again. It still threatens key and hard-won nonproliferation standards. And while there was a possibility that it would languish and eventually fade away in the face of strong opposition within India itself, it now appears poised to scale that hurdle and force the international community to decide the deal’s fate.

In this decision, states like Canada have a role to play. A vote at the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) to keep the deal going, by granting India exemption from the NSG’s key nonproliferation rule, would be a vote against nuclear nonproliferation. If nonproliferation is Canada’s primary concern it will use the opportunity it has to vote against the deal — unless, and only if, amendments can be added that at least require India to agree to a permanent end to testing warheads and to producing fissile material for weapons purposes.

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