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An Unrealistic View of Nuclear India

Wednesday, April 26, 2006; Page A24

Selig S. Harrison's "Alice in Wonderland" tour of the proposed U.S. nuclear agreement with India begins with India's "spotless nonproliferation record" and ends with a proposal for global nuclear disarmament based on U.S. acceptance of India as a de facto nuclear weapons state [op-ed, April 23].

Mr. Harrison ignores India's 46-year record of building its nuclear weapons program by violating Atoms for Peace commitments it made to the United States and Canada in return for receiving nuclear research data, power reactors and fuel-cycle technology.

He also ignores evidence, collected by the Institute for Science and International Security, that India has been engaged in illicit procurement of uranium-enrichment technology and spreading classified nuclear information in the process -- evidence the State Department has promised to look into but has yet to do.

Mr. Harrison's notion -- that by accepting India's nuclear weapons we can look to India to exercise restraint and promote global nuclear disarmament -- is self-deception. Even more disturbing, Congress is signaling a willingness to give up the oversight role it established in the 1970s by passing the Nuclear Nonproliferation Act in response to India's first nuclear test. It now seems ready to gut the law to make way for the utopia envisioned by Mr. Harrison.

PAUL LEVENTHAL

Founding President

Nuclear Control Institute

Washington

The writer, while a Senate staff member, handled the investigation and legislation resulting in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Act of 1978.


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