Defending a controversial decision by President Carter, the State Department told Congress Thursday the United States must sell India 38 tons of enriched uranium to counter Soviet friendship in the area. Deputy Secretary of State Warren M. Christopher said the move should be made despite India's refusal to renounce further nuclear tests or submit to international inspection.
Angry congressional opponents have charged Mr. Carter with violating the 1978 Nuclear Nonproliferation Act. But Mr. Christopher denied that, warning that India may buy nuclear fuel from the Soviet Union if Congress forestalls the plan.
Congress is largely hostile to the sale, in view of often brittle relations with India and also because of its recent $1.6 billion arms order with the Soviet Union.