Rice letter raises concerns about conditions in U.S.-Indian nuclear legislation

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told lawmakers Thursday that U.S.-Indian relations could be damaged if they do not revise their draft of a bill to allow shipment of American civilian nuclear fuel to India.

Critics of the plan accused the Bush administration of trying to remove what they say are the few remaining restraints to guard against the spread of nuclear weapons. The plan would reverse decades of U.S. anti-proliferation policy, and President George W. Bush considers it one of his top foreign policy initiatives.

Rice’s concerns were expressed in a letter sent to leading lawmakers that was obtained by The Associated Press. Her intervention could complicate prospects for the plan’s passage as lawmakers try to finish work on a final version of the bill before this year’s congressional session runs out.

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