• Citizens' Nuclear Information Center, Tokyo

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Harsh V. Pant’s July 25 article, “Obama jeopardizing nuclear deal with India,” is another example of the utter hypocrisy of the proponents of Indian exceptionalism in nuclear matters.

In September last year the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group exempted India from international rules governing nuclear trade. The fact that the Japanese government did not block consensus on this exemption was universally condemned by the Japanese media. Rightly so, since it set a dangerous precedent for nuclear proliferation, potentially encouraging other countries to develop nuclear weapons in the hope that they too will be forgiven in time.

Now the United States is belatedly seeking to close one of the many loopholes left open by the NSG exemption. The Group of Eight countries recently agreed not to export “sensitive technology” (technology related to uranium enrichment, reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel, etc.) to countries that are not members of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. This is an eminently reasonable decision. It in no way contradicts agreements made with India by the U.S. or any other country. But the Indian exceptionalists are squealing.

As demonstrated throughout the negotiations on the U.S.-India nuclear deal, these people have their own perverse way of interpreting the English language and they are completely blind to the concerns of the rest of the world about the spread of nuclear weapons. Giving in to their pleas for exceptional treatment was a historic blunder, not least because it reinforced their obstinacy.

philip white

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