Gore Secures Nuclear Pact

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MOSCOW: Nobody said slowing down the arms race would be easy, not even in the aftermath of the Cold War. While President Clinton still faces a tough battle to get Senate approval for the nuclear test-ban treaty he signed a year ago and touted at the U.N. on Monday Al Gore is having better luck. He and his friend of four years, the Russian prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, signed an historic deal Tuesday halting the production of weapons-grade plutonium the next step, say negotiators, toward a less nuclear world.

Gore had less to show on other issues: Russia said it would proceed with plans to build a civilian nuclear reactor in Iran. And Yeltsin still intends to sign a bill curbing the operations of foreign-based religious groups. But TIME State Department correspondent Dean Fischer believes the nuclear agreement is more important: "This has been a long-term American objective," says Fischer, "and would balance any frustration at not reaching agreement on any other issues." Now if only the Senate could be that cooperative.