India Nuclear Deal Is a Go

Congress passes agreement three years in the making to sell nuclear material
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Oct 2, 2008 7:19 AM CDT
A cut-out including George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a demonstration against the India-US nuclear deal in Hyderabad, India, Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008.    (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)
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(Newser) – A deal with India to sell nuclear fuel and technology made it through Congress last night after 3 years of negotiation, the LA Times reports. The agreement, passed by the Senate moments before the bailout bill, repeals the 30-year-old ban imposed after India defied international law to develop a bomb. Supporters say the deal strengthens our relationship with India, a strategic counterweight to China. Opponents maintain that it rewards nuclear proliferation.

The State Department and bill supporters have countered those concerns with the condition that the US would halt nuclear sales, intended for civilian use, if India tested a new bomb. This caveat proved controversial in India, nearly toppling the current prime minister. But some count the high-profile agreement as a top-three foreign policy accomplishment for the Bush administration.