Creating new perspectives since 2009

US officials call for stringent oversight over US-Saudi nuclear partnership

May 5, 2020 at 2:58 pm

Nuclear weapons, 19 August 2017 [Wikipedia]

The US Departments of State and Energy should commit to regular briefings to relevant committees in Congress during talks about nuclear power cooperation with Saudi Arabia, Reuters reported yesterday.

According to the Government Accountability Office (GOA), Congress should consider amending “the 1954 Atomic Energy Act” to require the briefings for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations about negotiations on nuclear power sharing.

Last October, the US confirmed that Washington is in talks with Riyadh about supporting Saudi Arabia’s planned nuclear programme and US Energy Secretary Rick Perry Perry confirmed talks were ongoing.

In 2019, two US senators warned the Trump administration against a nuclear cooperation deal with Saudi Arabia, fearing it could set off a nuclear arms race in the volatile Middle East.

READ:  Trump threatened to withdraw US forces from Saudi Arabia even before oil crisis

Democratic Senators Ed Markey and Jeff Merkley said in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Energy Secretary Rick Perry that making such a deal with the Saudis will “fail to promote U.S. leverage or influence”.

In 2018, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman said the kingdom would seek nuclear weapons if Iran developed its arsenal.RE