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Snag Appears in India-US Nuclear Deal

A new snag has appeared in the implementation of the nuclear deal that President Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed last July, but that has not yet been approved by the U.S. Congress.

India is rejecting a proposed addition to the draft agreement, offered by Washington and stipulating that the deal will be canceled if India detonates another nuclear bomb.

An Indian foreign ministry spokesman confirmed the controversy Monday. He said New Delhi has told Washington that India is bound only by a joint statement the two leaders issued in Washington in July.

In that statement, India committed to a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing. The foreign ministry spokesman said there is no place for any such new clause in the draft agreement.

Under the proposed deal, India will open most of its nuclear facilities for international inspections, and in return, it will be able to buy nuclear power plants and fuel from the United States and other members of the suppliers' club.