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American Enterprise Institute: Do Not Allow the Saudi Regime to Produce Nuclear Energy

An article from a Qatari news site reports on an American Enterprise Institute article calling for a 123 agreement with any nuclear deal with Saudi Arabia. The Arabic article, however, claims that AEI is against the US making a nuclear energy deal with Saudi Arabia under any circumstances. 

Feb 26, 2018

American Enterprise Institute: Do Not Allow the Saudi Regime to Produce Nuclear Energy

By Al Sharq (Qatari News Site)
Translation by Maya Hardimon
February 26, 2018


Next month, Saudi Arabia will announce a billion-dollar contract to build two nuclear power reactors in the Kingdom. The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, based in Washington, DC, has asked the US Government not to put nuclear power in the hands of the Saudi regime. Last weekend at a press conference in Munich, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that the Trump Administration had called for Riyadh to develop its nuclear fuel in order to achieve self-sufficiency.

This type of agreement is subject to conditions specified by a section of the US Atomic Energy Act of 1954, which regulates the transfer of nuclear materials, equipment, and components from the United States to any recipient country. The act also regulates technical exchanges, scientific research, and discussions.

President Trump and his national security team now face a dilemma: they can try to change the federal regulation in order to secure the lucrative deal for the American company Westinghouse, or they can preserve the previous laws and make the contract conditional upon guidelines that Congress set to prevent global nuclear proliferation. The contract would give billions of dollars to Westinghouse, a Pennsylvania-based subsidiary of Toshiba that’s facing bankruptcy (and considering a foreign takeover offer by Brookfield Asset Management in Canada).

Section 123 [of the Atomic Energy Act] sets an important legal framework for peaceful nuclear cooperation; it stipulates that the country receiving support adhere to nonproliferation norms set by the US. So far, the United States has signed 23 deals that are 123-compliant, including other countries in the Middle East.

The Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC), is a 501 (c)3 nonpartisan, nonprofit, educational organization
founded in 1994 to promote a better understanding of strategic weapons proliferation issues. NPEC educates policymakers, journalists,
and university professors about proliferation threats and possible new policies and measures to meet them.
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