WASHINGTON, DC – Today Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), the co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force on Non-Proliferation, joined the national peace lobby, the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), to unveil a grassroots campaign to oppose the U.S.-India nuclear deal.  The FCNL will deliver tin cans that say "CAN the President's U.S.-India Nuclear Deal" to members of the House International Relations and Senate Foreign Relations Committees following the news conference. The House and Senate Committees will mark up legislation that would advance the dangerous U.S.-India nuclear agreement next week.

Markey’s prepared statement is below:

“I’m here today to talk about one of the greatest threats to the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty that the world faces today.  I’m here to talk about President Bush’s dangerous proposal to ship nuclear technology and fuel to India.

“Now, India isn’t North Korea, and it isn’t Iran.  India is a friend of the United States, and our relationship is likely to grow stronger.  But India has never signed the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, it refuses to accept full-scope International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, and it has a small but growing nuclear arsenal.  Because of these factors, India is barred under U.S. and international law from receiving nuclear assistance of any kind from the United States or anyone else.

“Since the India nuclear deal was first announced last July, nonproliferation experts have quietly discussed a question that could very well come to be the defining aspect of the initiative: By giving nuclear cooperation to India, would the United States violate its commitment under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty?

“Just this week, a distinguished group of nonproliferation experts from across the political spectrum wrote a letter to Congress arguing persuasively that in fact, the nuclear deal with India WOULD put the United States in violation of its central obligation under the NPT: which is to not in any way assist a non-nuclear weapon state in its pursuit of nuclear weapons.  And that means India, too.

“Are we going to allow the Bush administration to casually throw the NPT onto the trash-heap of history simply because it has gotten in the way of one of their latest “strategic concepts,” a future in which India serves as a U.S. proxy to counter a rising China?  Not without a fight.

“I’ll tell you what should get thrown onto the trash-heap: this dangerous deal with New Delhi.

“It’s time to CAN the U.S.-India nuclear deal.  As the India nuclear deal moves to the House International Relations Committee, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and to the House and Senate floor, we intend to make the case that the purported benefits of this deal are an illusion, and the risks to the international nuclear nonproliferation regime are quite real.”

For more information on Markey’s work on nuclear non-proliferation, please go to: http://markey.house.gov/

June 22, 2006

CONTACT: Israel Klein (Markey)

or David Culp (FCNL)