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India's N-test will have most-serious consequences: US

October 01, 2008 23:08 IST

Faced with killer amendments tabled by two Democrats in the Senate, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [Images] on Wednesday said that a nuclear test by India will result in "most serious consequences", including automatic cut-off of US cooperation as well as a number of other sanctions.

As the Senate began a debate on a legislation that will stamp the approval on the Indo-US nuclear deal, Rice wrote a letter urging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to go through with the process without amendments, saying the Administration would prefer a "clean legislation".

"I understand that some Senators have questions about the impact of an Indian nuclear test on this initiative. We believe the Indian Government intends to uphold the continuation of the nuclear testing moratorium it affirmed to the United States in 2005 and reiterated to the broader international community as recently as September 5, 2008," she said.

The Senate was originally expected to consider the Dorgan and Bingaman amendments pertaining to implications in the event of India conducting a nuclear test. But on the floor while taking amendments, the Senator from North Dakota Byron Dorgan announced that the two amendments would be merged into one.

The merged amendment, if adopted, would ensure that the US ceases nuclear cooperation with India in the event of New Delhi [Images] detonates a nuclear weapon.

Appreciating Reid's consideration of the Bill "within such an extraordinary time-frame", Rice said they wouldn't be asking for such exceptional action if they did not believe it was necessary to complete an initiative on which both the Administration and the Congress have worked very hard and on a thoroughly bi-partisan basis since 2005.

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