March 9, 1972
State Department cable 40378 to US Embassy Ottawa, 'Indian Nuclear Intentions'
This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)
During a discussion with the Canadian embassy counselor, U.S. country desk director David Schneider opined that Indian was unlikely to test a device in the “near future” but he wanted Ottawa’s prognosis. Schneider was also interested in whether the Soviets, with their close relationship with India, might be able to use their influence to “deter” a test. If India tested, the U.S. could respond with a “strong statement,” but whether “punitive” measures would be taken would depend on whether the test “violated existing agreements.” In October 1970, the State Department had cautioned the Indians that a “peaceful nuclear explosion” was indistinguishable from a weapons test and that the test of a nuclear device would be incompatible with U.S.-Indian nuclear assistance agreements.
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