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France-Pakistan Nuclear Deal in Play
Jill Marie Parillo
July 24, 2009
Bad news today, France agreed to a nuclear deal with Pakistan. France is claiming that the deal will be limited to nuclear safety. They are also claiming that this is the beginning of a civil nuclear partnership, and more could come when French President Sarkozy visits Pakistan at the end of the year. Pakistan is home to Abdul Qadeer Khan, who after building Pakistan’s bomb sold secrets and nuclear bomb making technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya.
The France-Pakistan nuclear deal is really bad news for supporters of the Bush Administration’s US-India nuclear deal, which changed U.S. law to allow for trade in nuclear material and technology with India. Supporters of the US-India deal claim that we were bolstering India, a reliable ally that follows all nonproliferation rules, against nuclear armed China. Now France will bolster Pakistan, China’s ally in the region, against India.
Making matters worse, the Obama Administration is following a policy of “business as usual” as it continues to agree to nuclear cooperation agreements which weaken nuclear nonproliferation efforts globally. The Administration just signed a nuclear deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which served as the port to Iran from AQ Khan’s nuclear black market in Pakistan.
The Obama Administration claims that by setting up the UAE’s nuclear industry, and agreeing with the UAE to strict nuclear trading guidelines, we can be more assured that the nation will strengthen its export-import regulations. However, as the U.S. sets up UAE’s base to accept nuclear technology, it will not be the United States that sells the technology, but France. France is first in line to sell nuclear technology (nuclear reactors) to the UAE. It is unlikely that France will follow U.S. made rules for nuclear trade between the United States and the UAE.
Evidently, spreading more nuclear technology is not the way to curb the spread of it. This technology can be used for power production, but as we saw in North Korea, also nuclear weapon production. The only way to prevent nuclear terrorism and nuclear war is to reduce the spread of nuclear technology and secure nuclear material globally. The Obama Administration needs to stop doing business as usual, as was promised during the campaign, and make America safer by building a united front against the spread of this dangerous technology.