Nuclear South Asia: Iran fires a shot at India

May 4, 2009

Iran looks like it will come out swinging at a global conference on the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) opening in New York on Monday, and in the process take a swipe at Israel as well as India.

And that is a bit of a shift, for India and Iran have ties going back into history, but which have in recent years come under pressure and play in the tangled relationship between India and Pakistan.

Iran, according to this Reuters story, has submitted papers to the NPT conference accusing the United States of violating the treaty by developing new nuclear weapons and providing nuclear aid to Israel and India. The target is clearly Washington and according to the story an attempt by Tehran to deflect attention from its own nuclear programme.

But by turning the spotlight on India, is it risking turning off an old friend, a civilisational ally?

India and the United States sealed a deal under which Washington would help India expand its civilian nuclear energy programme, even though New Dehi has refused to sign the NPT or renounce its nuclear weapons. New Delhi has long argued that the NPT was discriminatory allowing the five countries – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia – which are also the permanent members of the UN Security Council to possess nuclear weapons while prohibiting others from doing do so.

Iran is questioning that deal as did Pakistan, which sought a similar pact from Washington  to boost its nuclear programme to meet its energy requirements. But the Bush administration which pushed the deal despite reservations in the U.S. Congress and outside from non-proliferation experts said there was a difference between India and Pakistan.

Indeed, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are back in focus as President Asif Ali Zardari heads to Washington for meetings with U.S. President Barack Obama this week just as the military continues to fight the Taliban 60 miles from Islamabad.

The New York Times said in a report ahead of the meeting that the spread of the insurgency has left American officials less willing to accept blanket assurances from Pakistan that its weapons are safe.  The two sides may take up the issue this week, it said.

Will India crop up again in those discussions, especially when America tries to lean on Islamabad for more transparency of its nuclear weapons? The Pakistani nuclear programme,  like its huge conventional military force, is geared toward meeting the threat it feels from India. So is Islamabad going to join the Iranians and  take up the India-U.S. nuclear deal to counter the pressure on its programme?

Or is Washington in no mood now to listen to the Pakistani army’s deepest fears – the rise of a nuclear-armed India with with new economic heft?

[File photo of Indian rocket launch to put satellite in space]



I wonder where from you get your daily news. I believe from some propoganda website? You don’t seem to fathom the repurcussions of nuclear war and the fallout; needlessly talking about nuking someone like a brat who just laid hands on a pistol. Is that a wonder why everyone is worried with the nukes falling in the wrong hands of bearded pinheads?

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive


I’m not surprised by your comments. Islamists used to hate called the the godless and expansionist Soviets and stand by the US, their ally and friend. They wined and dined with the Americans while shooting the Soviets down. Please don’t tell me China is a benevolent power. It just tells us that you need some more reading than what is printed in local newspapers.

Posted by Nikhil | Report as abusive ts/3830728.shtml

“The People’s Republic of China is increasingly challenging Russia in the African arms trade, offering lower prices on weapons that, ironically, are often made in China with Russian technologies.
Chinese products are less expensive than Russian and Western systems. They are similar to the Russian systems that many African countries are familiar with, and they are also easy to maintain and easy to use in training.”

“Many countries in Africa are therefore switching allegiance to the People’s Republic of China for their weapons purchases. A typical example is Sudan. At a 2007 military parade, the Khartoum regime showcased its China-made T96 Main Battle Tanks and T92 wheeled armored vehicles.”

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive t=12103 dex.php/t-543543.html

“China has been promoting arms-for-oil deals with Africa as the continent is becoming one of its major sources of oil.”

Chinese commies are buying oil and selling mayhem. Yes sure they are not selling democracy and liberty–how nice of them!

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Many thanks for all the comments, but can we get this back on track pleaase ? This was a blogpost on the global nuclear architecture under pressure as it exists now and not on conspiracy theories behind the Mumbai blasts.

In fact, the story has moved a bit since I wrote that post. At the NPT meeting which began in New York this week, a U.S. official said that India, Pakistan and Israel must join the NPT, which she said remained a fundamental U.S. objective. How does that position square off with the India-U.S. bilateral civilian energy deal ? Or is it an aqttempt ultimately bring India into the fold ?
Here is the link : idUKTRE5445VQ20090505

Posted by Sanjeev Miglani | Report as abusive

We are also not discussing a possible military strike on Iran – that is clearly the subject of a separate post.
And likewise do not see the immediate relevance of Darfur and China’s role in it to the nuclear structure we are talking about here.

Posted by Sanjeev Miglani | Report as abusive

NPT is just a blanket for nuclear arms stability. It doesn’t matter how many members it has or if some members slip on in via the peaceful energy arc de triumph. What matters is that we all don’t nuke each other simultaneously, one warm, happy afternoon. Its not a slap in the face for Pakistan, or India or Israel to join the NPT because they already are de facto nuclear powers. Lets get real. U.S. can’t expect these nations to sign onto a dead treaty, and doesn’t, but some other framework must exist in the meantime(between last WW and the next major global conflict) to maintain peace and prolong peace for as long as possible. NPT is dead and global economic interdependence is the only thing that ties us together, preventing us from microwaving each other. Let G20 run the nukes. Let not an alternative economic bloc prolifirate nuclear technology.
If anything, the India-US nuclear deal is the PROTOTYPE PROLIFIRATION PROTOCOL for G20 or G20+ or whatever. Let the new treaty allow for monitored peaceful reactors, let Iran in, and control the delivery systems rather than the warheads themselves. Space Age Tech NPT.

Posted by N-NW | Report as abusive

World seem to have easily forgotten that it was US,UK,
France,EU in addition to Pakistan that armed,trained,
sheltered etc these very SAME militants to destablize
india via kashmir and punjab.The very name of India used
to irk US and its allies !

But the
very same culprits now have fallen in the grave that they
dug for india ! Long live India and the heck with yanks,
pakis,japs etc. Muslims to my mind are diehards.
I donot think they are going to give up; Yanks will have
to run away from Pak and Afghan with their pants down!
Believe me or not ; time will tell.

Asif Zardari will now kill a couple thousand militants
to get couple billion $s from this foolish nation that
is called “US”; it means each militant killed will cost
US$1m while life in Pakistan or life of a militant is
hardly worth $5; so Zardari is being clever by gunning
down one militant he will get $1m and after the first
2,000 miltants are killed in exchange for $2billion,
militant deaths will stop till US gives zardari further
$2bn and it will be unending cycle like that
It’s hightime for american public to wakeup and reprimand
their leaders

Posted by jjmk4546 | Report as abusive


we Canadians know what India is going to do with the “new” civil nuclear technologies.same as what India did with Canadian supplied CANDU nuclear reactors ok

there are safer alternatives…

Posted by Montrealer | Report as abusive

With NPT designating only 5 countries—the UN permanent members (US, China, France, Great Britain, Russia)–that tested a nuclear device before 1967 as nuclear weapon states and other countries including India which have conducted nuclear explosions since 1967 not being able to be so in case they sign NPT, it makes no sense thta they can ask India to sign NPT.

Signing NPT means India becomes a non nuclear weapon state and China keeps its NUKES. Hmm… Well Pakistan is India-centric so will sign NPT in their own admission if India does, and India’s NUkes are China-centric and China not giving it up means India not signing the treaty. I am sure they must be addressing this someway. Modify, rewrite NPT or do whatever it takes but there is no other way than to ultimately accept India as the NWS.

This is the feeling from the following article. -may-come-under-pressure-from-US-to-sign -NPT/articleshow/4490055.cms

“”As former US ambassador to India Robert Blackwill said on Tuesday, “It’s not clear to me how they regard India’s nuclear weapons — as a destabilising factor in South Asia; as a fact of life to grudgingly tolerate or as a natural development from a close democratic collaborator and rising great power.”

“He added, “The US should treat India as a nuclear weapon state. Any American backsliding in that regard would produce a very strong negative reaction from New Delhi.”

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive

Remove the cut-off year mentioned in NPT and provide all countries equal rights. Current treaty provides special status to 5 nations in this world. This is unfair hence India has not signed the treaty till now.

Posted by Devendra | Report as abusive

none of your comments have to do anything with what exactly this particula article is about. you are just wasting time venting about your personal issues and views. i also suggest learning the english language properly and carefully review the proper ways of writing a sentence. get over the soviet but kicking carried out by the mujahideen, a group of poor, rag tag people who sent the soviets back home running and eventually brought down your mythical empire.

Posted by hassan | Report as abusive

Iran and India will be honest friends forever .nothing can make change

Posted by sandeep | Report as abusive

Try the for Iran’s nuclear ideology…


I just wanted to point to the developments at the nuclear conference which some see as the first breakthrough in 10 years. Delegates from the NPT’s 189 signatories agreed on an agenda for a major conference next year, where member states hope to adopt an action plan to overhaul the treaty.

The agenda includes a review of disarmament commitments made by the five recognised nuclear weapons states in 1995 and 2000. A movement forward then ? Reports from the conference suggest a change of tone from the Obama administration including the call to Israel to sign the NPT. Here is a story on the conference so far : isis/idUSN06281930

Posted by Sanjeev Miglani | Report as abusive

richard perle, in a private conversation with barack obama:

“there are a few hundred million people, mr president, that refuse to see the benefits of our plan…

“we will have to eliminate them, but since we’ve exceeded the sustainable carrying capacity of the planet by a factor of five or six, they would be eliminated anyway.

“in the meantime, someone has to decide who will live and who will die, and it’s only fitting that we, who have the power to destroy the planet many times over, are the ones who make that decision.

“in fact, i make the case that our achievements, including the development nuclear weapons, are proof of our superiority, and therefore our entitlement to make that decision.”

Posted by wadosy | Report as abusive

Nikhil, seems to accept whatever he likes, the rest of it he considers to be from “propaganda websites”.
The fact remains that man-kind will always find better and more efficient ways to kill each other. It doesn’t matter who has nukes and who doesn’t. Killing each other has been the favourite pastime for man and that’s not about to change. America has made the world a much more dangerous place in it’s quest to become the ultimate saviour. You don’t see other countries fretting about their national security the way they do. That’s because other countries don’t spread their armies around the world promoting war.

Posted by Ibrahim | Report as abusive

Well although I have an affection for the country, I believe that the US-India deal was a fundamental mistake. Like this case illustrates, it flies in the face of the NPT. India had no reason to develop a nuke – no other country in its region could was in the same league as India. China was always in a league of its own and was more of an excuse used by India to try to increase its position in the world through obtaining nukes.

Posted by JJ | Report as abusive

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