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Bush and the bomb

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Last-ditch nuclear talks between Iran and the European Union's big three did not go well yesterday, breaking up shortly after they began in Vienna. That was not surprising since there had been an impasse in negotiations for weeks now. But it was more than just an unfortunate coincidence that the session was held a day after George Bush, visiting New Delhi, struck a landmark deal allowing India to develop peaceful nuclear energy while staying outside the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), the world's most important legal barrier to the spread of nuclear weapons. This smacks of double standards that will make it hard to hold the line on this issue and gives some substance to the charge, voiced by an angry President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that opposition to Iran's nuclear ambitions - which he claims are peaceful - is politically motivated. Next week this potentially disastrous confrontation is likely to move to the UN security council.

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At www.guardian.co.uk

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