<p class =" Canvas Atom Canvas Text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8 em) – sm "type =" text "content =" Security, Middle East "data-reactid =" 12 "> Security, Middle East
The Trump administration would be wise to drop its artificial deadlines and its policies both in Iran as well as on the Saudi Arabian agreement.
Washington's plan for a nuclear agreement with Saudi Arabia could be in jeopardy
President Trump's decision to "nix" Iran's nuclear treaty was ruthless. However, it gives the Trump administration a unique opportunity to strengthen nuclear negotiations with another state in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia. The two countries are negotiating a nuclear co-operation agreement, but a sticking point was whether the Saudis would agree to abandon dual-use technologies that could be used to either produce nuclear power or nuclear weapons. With the Trump administration claiming to have left the Iran deal because of non-proliferation conflicts, it now has leverage to apply the same policy to Riyadh.
The government hopes to reach a final settlement with Saudi Arabia by mid-June. Such an agreement is necessary for the United States to transfer significant nuclear material, equipment or components from the United States to Saudi Arabia and could significantly help US companies such as Westinghouse build the country's first two nuclear reactors later this year , By submitting the transaction by mid-June, the administration would meet the shortlist deadline and legal requirements that the current Congress has ninety days to block the deal or have it approved automatically.
Trump's claim that his withdrawal decision from The Iran Deal will strengthen his hand in negotiations for a better Iran deal. But Trump can prove that he really wants to prevent an arms race in the Middle East by insisting on specific provisions in the agreement on nuclear cooperation with Saudi Arabia, which will make it difficult for Riyadk to use its nuclear arms program for weapons purposes.
An outstanding topic in the discussions is whether the Saudis will agree to dispense with uranium enrichment and reprocessing of spent fuel, two technologies that can be used to produce fuel in nuclear reactors, but also to produce highly enriched fuel Uranium can be used for plutonium needed for nuclear weapons. A decade ago, Iran and Saudi Arabia's neighboring country, the United Arab Emirates, undertook no enrichment or reprocessing activities, regardless of whether the materials and facilities were supplied by the United States or other countries. Saudi Arabia has resisted making a similar unconditional assurance. Other non-proliferation measures that could ensure that the Saudi energy program is not used for weapons purposes would be the adoption of the Additional Protocol, an agreement providing the IAEA with additional rights of access and surveillance and the acquisition of foreign nuclear fuel suppliers for the lifetime of the reactor and the repatriation of the nuclear reactor spent fuel from the reactor to the supplier.
In order to secure an agreement with the United States that will pass Congress, the Saudis can agree on a moratorium on enrichment and reprocessing. However, in order not to lag too much behind the Iranian capabilities, they would probably make their commitment to the Iranian enrichment activities. In an interview in mid-March, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman warned, "Undoubtedly, if Iran develops a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible." Given that the US has just left the Iran deal, it is unclear how long Iran will continue to adhere to its enrichment restrictions.
According to President Trump's announcement yesterday, the US will repeal stringent sanctions on Iran and consider new sanctions. If the Trump government reinstates all US nuclear sanctions, including secondary sanctions on international trade with Iran, it will be extremely difficult for European countries to do business with Iran. In such a situation, Iran can decide that the main reason for accession, namely the economic recovery from foreign investment, can not be achieved, and withdraw from the agreement. This does not mean that Iran will immediately benefit from the 5 percent agreed in the agreement, but Iranian nuclear leader Ali Akbar Salehi has said that if such a decision is taken by Iran, "only four days will be needed." 20% enrichment.
Given the uncertainty surrounding Iran's response to Trump's actions over the next few months, as well as the goodwill Trump's ruling has achieved in Riyadh, the government could also consider extending the negotiations to win non-proliferation licenses By then, hopefully, the direction of Iran's actions on its nuclear program and any US responses will be clearer, allowing Washington to adjust the Saudi agreement accordingly, which could jeopardize the chances of the US bid – Riyadh could move faster or decide to work with a non-US company that restricts its enrichment and reprocessing capabilities less, but there is little practical reason Saudi Arabia can not defer its bid decision and many po have political and diplomatic reasons. But even if Saudi Arabia keeps its schedule, the US nuclear industry could still play an important role. Although a nuclear reactor agreement would bring in the highest revenues, there are many other important areas in which the United States can support the Saudi nuclear program – from developing its electricity network and building infrastructure to training staff and developing an independent legislative body.
The government would be wise to coordinate strategies for both the Iranian and Saudi nuclear programs. Preventing both countries from being nuclear-armed and participating in a nuclear arms race is the goal. The rest can wait.
<p class = "Canvas Atom Canvas Text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = " Chen Zak Kane is director of the Middle East Non-Proliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies in Washington DC "data-reactid =" 38 " Chen Zak Kane is director of the Non-Proliferation Program for the Middle East at the James Martin Non-Proliferation Studies Center in Washington, DC
<p class = "Canvas Atom Canvas Text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" Type = "text" content = " Ramya Ramjee is an intern at the James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies in Washington DC and Student at the University of Southern California. "data-reactid =" 39 "> Ramya Ramjee is an intern at the James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies in Washington DC and a student at the University of Southern California.
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = " image: The Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud is seen at a photo shoot at the United Nations Headquarters in New York's Manhattan district of New York on March 27, 2018. REUTERS / Amir Levy "data-reactid =" 40 "> Image: Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud is in photo shoot at United Nations Headquarters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Manhattan, New York City, USA, March 27, 2018. REUTERS / Amir Levy
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