December 20, 2005- Reps Launch Legislation to Block India's End Run Around Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Ed Markey (D-MA), co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force on Nonproliferation, along with fellow senior Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee Representative Fred Upton (R-MI), have introduced a bipartisan resolution opposing President Bush’s proposed nuclear cooperation with India.  In July, President Bush welcomed Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, to the White House and announced that he was seeking to waive current restrictions on nuclear cooperation between the two countries -- despite India’s failure to comply with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.  Current law prohibits the sale of nuclear technology to any country such as India which refuses to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, refuses to allow full-scope safeguards under the treaty, and which develops new nuclear weapons and detonates nuclear tests in defiance of the treaty.

“This Administration’s move to launch nuclear cooperation with India has grave security implications for South Asia and the entire world.  Supplying nuclear fuel to countries that are not party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) de-rails the delicate balance that has been established between nuclear nations and limits our capacity to insist that other nations continue to follow this important nonproliferation policy,” said Rep. Markey.  “We cannot break the nuclear rules established in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and demand that everyone else play by them.”

The bipartisan resolution introduced by Reps Markey and Upton emphasizes that both the United States and India have a common interest in reducing the dangers posed by nuclear weapons. The resolution, H. Con. Res. 318, introduced on December 15, 2005:

• Emphasizes the common interest both nations have in reducing the dangers posed by nuclear weapons;
• Finds that the proposal for full civil nuclear cooperation between the U.S. and India poses far-reaching and potentially adverse implications for the nuclear nonproliferation objectives of the U.S. and promises to do little in the long-term to bring India into closer alignment with other strategic objectives of the United States;
• Reiterates its disapproval of any proposal for nuclear cooperation that would result in exports or transfers of nuclear technology or materials to any country that is not a party to the NPT and has not accepted full-scope IAEA safeguards.

“Bush’s rogue nuclear doctrine will send a message to other nations that there are no serious consequences for violating nuclear treaties.  India is not party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and they tested nuclear weapons as recently as 1998.  If we provide them with nuclear fuel for their reactor, we are essentially allowing them to build up their nuclear weapons stockpile,” said Mr. Markey.  “What other countries will ask for exceptions after India?  This is an extremely dangerous precedent to be setting.”

For Immediate Release
December 20, 2005

 CONTACT: Tara McGuinness