Trump will fail to provide nukes to Saudi Arabia
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Trump will fail to provide nukes to Saudi Arabia

The administration of US President Donald Trump has reportedly approved six authorizations that allow American companies to secretly provide Saudi Arabia with nuclear technology or technical assistance. According to a document, issued by the Department of Energy and seen by Reuters on Wednesday, the US firms had requested their government to keep their approvals secret. Trump’s efforts to secure a nuclear energy deal with Saudi Arabia have however sparked concern in Congress, especially after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last year. “There’s a very strong opposition to the US supplying nuclear material to the Saudis because of their unreliability to the US as far as its role in the Middle East,” Professor Petras said.   “Trump is very much in favor of providing nuclear arms [to the Saudis]. He has ‘invented terrorist guards’ in Iran. He has been very upset by the close relations between Iraq and Iran. So the Saudis are coming in with substantial loans or aids to Iraq as a way of trying to disrupt this working relationship between Iraq and Iran,” he added.   “I am not sure that Trump would be able to push through this nuclear program because it is opposed by the every country in Europe, and I think it has about a 50-50 chance of supplying the Saudi government with it,” he noted. Saudi Arabia’s insistence that it should be allowed to produce its own nuclear fuel, rather than import it under strict conditions, has also raised concern among industry experts and some in Congress. US lawmakers first became wary of the plans when the Saudis refused to accept limits preventing them from developing a nuclear weapon. Congress has been re-evaluating the US-Saudi relationship since Khashoggi’s death, with lawmakers blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the killing. Skepticism in Congress over whether Saudi Arabia can be a trusted partner has grown since the gruesome murder. Khashoggi relocated to the United States in June 2017 and began writing for The Washington Post in September of that year. He was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018 by agents of the Saudi government. US lawmakers have increased their critical scrutiny of the Saudi nuclear program, especially whether the Trump administration is doing enough to prevent proliferation of nuclear weapons. A bipartisan resolution introduced in the Senate in February demanded that the use of any US nuclear power technology in Saudi Arabia must be accompanied by safeguards to ensure Saudi Arabia cannot enrich uranium or reprocess spent fuel. "The last thing America should do is inadvertently help develop nuclear weapons for a bad actor on the world stage," said Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley, one of the resolution's sponsors. Democratic members of Congress in February claimed that White House officials have pushed the sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia despite warnings from the US National Security Council.

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