By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones
4 November 2008
Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukerjee and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed the Indo-US civilian nuclear cooperation treaty last month, concluding a three-year drive on the part of their countries’ respective elites to take Indo-US bilateral relations to “a new level.”
The treaty and associated changes in the rules of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) grant India de facto recognition as a nuclear-weapons state and gut the four decade old international nuclear regulatory framework that the US was largely responsible for creating.
Only the five permanent members of the UN Security Council—the US, Russia, Britain, France, and China—have hitherto been internationally recognized nuclear-weapons states; and only they and other states that have signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (pledging thereby not to develop nuclear weapons) have been allowed to engage in civilian nuclear trade.
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