Washington, Oct 1: As India and the United States are nearing the completion of the bilateral civilian nuclear cooperation deal, Israel is lobbying to allow international transfer of nuclear technology to it and India, countries that are regarded as nuclear weapon states but have not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
According to The Washington Post, Pakistan also falls in this category, but the Israeli proposal will only benefit India and Israel, as the former has been left out of this plan because of its alleged proliferation records.
This assumes significance as the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) does not allow trade with countries that have not signed the NPT. Thus, countries such as India, Israel and Pakistan are prohibited from participating in international nuclear trade, including buying reactors, uranium fuel or yellowcake. But Washington is lobbying the NSG to exempt New Delhi from its restrictions in the wake of the bilateral civilian nuclear deal.
However, the report said that the Israeli move might complicate the Bush Administration"s efforts to win an exemption for India. The administration still faces a strong opposition from the anti-nuclear lobbies as it pushes to clear the final hurdles blocking the groundbreaking agreement with India.
The Dawn quoted the paper as saying that using the Israeli proposal as an example, the opponents of the Indo-US nuclear deal can argue that any exception to the NPT restriction may open the gate to proliferation as other non-recognised nuclear states may also demand acceptance.
Israel has offered 12 criteria for allowing nuclear trade with non-treaty states, including one that hints at Israel"s status as an undeclared nuclear weapons state.
The proposal says that a state should be allowed to engage in nuclear trade if it applies “stringent physical protection, control and accountancy measures to all nuclear weapons, nuclear facilities, source material and special nuclear material in its territory."
Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association in Washington, feels that Israeli document could affect the debate over India.
“The dynamics at the NSG are that no country wants to stand in the way of the largest country, India, and the most powerful country, the US," he said.