By Roger Alexander
In opening remarks before the crucial testimony of Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns before the Committee on Thursday, September 18, ranking minority member of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Richard Lugar (R, Indiana) stressed that the nuclear agreement was an "important strategic opportunity" for the
He pointed out that the nuclear deal reinforced non-proliferation efforts and maintained US obligations under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.
Lugar also talked about the "seven determination requirements that the President must make in order to waive provisions of the Atomic Energy Act and submit the agreement to Congress."
"Last week, President Bush determined that each of these requirements has been met. Today's hearing will review these determinations in preparation for Congressional acceptance," he said.
He also outlined the four main policy and legal questions that must be resolved during the hearing. He emphasised on the need to "establish the definitive
Later after the hearing got underway, Acting Chair of the Senate Panel (Senator Joe Bidden, the permanent chair was away campaigning) Senator Dodd asked whether the fuel supply commitments were binding on the next administration taking charge on January 20, 2009. William Burns replied, "Any president would be bound by
Then it was Acting Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security John Rood’s turn to answer queries. “What was the legal effect of including assurances in the agreement? If those have no legal effect, then why were they included in the agreement at all? What would the
Replying to Senator Dodd's question, Rood said, "With regard to their understanding that our actions are going to be guided by
Let us, therefore, examine the
The documents submitted to the US Congress by the
In brief, the following points have been underscored to demonstrate that the 123 Agreement with
· Whatever corrective measures
· The consent to
· India will have to align its foreign policy to that of the US, particularly on
Regarding Fuel Supply Assurances, the signed covering note to the Presidential Determination (President's Transmittal of Text to Congress) – also referred to as the ‘Hyde Package’ - George Bush makes it clear that the fuel supply assurance in the 123 Agreement is not legally binding. "In Article 5(6) the Agreement records certain political commitments concerning reliable supply of nuclear fuel given to
This categorical denial of any legally binding fuel supply assurance in the 123 Agreement by the
"Once a facility is listed in the Annex, safeguards will continue indefinitely unless '
The Report Pursuant to Section 104(c) of Hyde Act has also left the quantity of nuclear material transferred under the 123 Agreement undefined. Therefore the
Regarding Full Co-Operation in Civilian Nuclear Technology, the Presidential Determination clearly states:
"It (the 123 Agreement) does not permit transfers of any restricted data. Sensitive nuclear technology, heavy-water production technology and production facilities, sensitive nuclear facilities, and major critical components of such facilities may not be transferred under the Agreement unless the Agreement is amended." This is also reiterated in the Report Pursuant to Section 104(c) of Hyde Act.
Regarding Consent to Reprocess, the Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statement accompanying the Presidential Determination states:
Regarding Iran, the Report Pursuant to Section 104(c) of Hyde Act approvingly talks about India aligning with the US on the Iran question both in the IAEA and the UN and that India "maintained a strong public line of support for P5+1 and US diplomatic efforts to resolve international concerns with Iran's nuclear program".
Regarding Missile Technology Control Regime, the Report Pursuant to Section 104(c) of Hyde Act mentions that
As Dr AN Prasad and other critics of the deal point out that all this makes the 123 Agreement almost identical to the Tarapur one, where
With the documents accompanying the Presidential Determination, the
Therefore the argument that
A different interpretation of the 123 Agreement by