Thursday, March 06, 2008

Nuclear Issues: Call to drop 'virtual gag order' on U.S-India nuclear deal

Four US nuclear non-proliferation experts have urged the Bush administration to drop what they describe as "a virtual 'gag' order" on a US-India civil nuclear deal.

AAP reports the administration's comments on the deal were given to US lawmakers on condition they be kept secret, sources familiar with the matter said.

The deal would give India access to US nuclear fuel and equipment for the first time in three decades even though New Delhi has tested nuclear weapons and refused to join non-proliferation agreements.

"The administration's responses should be made publicly available so that US and Indian lawmakers and the public can evaluate whether the draft US-Indian accord conforms to the terms and conditions established by Congress," wrote Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association.

The other three experts are Fred McGoldrick, Henry Sokolski and Sharon Squassoni