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PostPosted: Dec 07, 2017 1:11 am 
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U.S. energy chief says to start negotiations on nuclear pact with Riyadh

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U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who this week visited Saudi Arabia on his first official trip to the region told Reuters that negotiations between the two allies will start soon to tackle the details of the pact - known as a 123 agreement. “We heard that message that ... ‘we want the United States to be our partner in this’,” Perry said, referring to discussions he had during his meetings with Falih and the top Saudi leadership. Perry met with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman during his trip. But one potential sticking point could prove to be Riyadh’s ambitions to have the ability of one day enriching uranium - the process for producing fissile material which can have military uses. Riyadh has said it wants to tap its own uranium resources for “self-sufficiency in producing nuclear fuel” and it was not interested in diverting nuclear technology to military use. But under Article 123 of the U.S. Atomic Energy Act, a peaceful cooperation agreement is required for the transfer of nuclear materials, technology and equipment. Washington usually requires a country to sign a pact that blocks it from making nuclear fuel which has potential bomb-making applications. In previous talks Saudi Arabia has refused to sign up to any agreement that would deprive it of the possibility of one day enriching uranium itself. Perry declined to comment whether that issue was raised during his visit to Saudi Arabia.


This is a very significant development indicating that the new US administration is going to take a much more realistic approach to the world nuclear situation than the previous administration. The Obama State Department's "gold standard" approach to 1-2-3 agreements, insisting that countries renounce any future plans to enrich uranium and reprocess spent fuel, completely backfired on them. Countries that were interested in these options essentially told the US to go pound sand and marched right into the loving arms of the Chinese and Russians, who had no such compunctions. So rather than enhancing global nuclear security, the posture of the Obama administration did nothing but "virtue signal" to their anti-nuclear fellow travellers that they would not position the US in a leadership position in global nuclear matters.

Trump and Perry are dealing with the world as it actually is, not as they wish it was.


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PostPosted: Dec 07, 2017 11:05 am 
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