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U.S.‐India Nuclear Cooperation and Non‐Proliferation

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he "Agreement for Cooperation Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of India Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy"1 (hereinafter referred to as "U.S.‐India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement" or "123 agreement") acknowledges a shift in international strategies and relations in both countries. As to India, it marks the end of nuclear isolation resulting from constraints, embargoes and controls and instead opens the path for nuclear commerce. With respect to the United States it entails a major geo‐strategic ally in the evolving South‐ Asia region and promises large commercial benefits to the U.S. nuclear sector. This so called "nuclear deal" constitutes one of the major political, economic and strategic relationships developing between the two countries since 2001. It will lead to the separation of military and civilian nuclear installations in India, the latter to be placed under the safeguards system of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It thus de facto accepts India in the club of nuclear weapon states within the meaning of the Treaty on the Non‐proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)2 although it is not party to this treaty, refuses adhering to it, officially possesses nuclear weapons and is not subject to a comprehensive system of safeguards.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: January 1, 2009


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