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Guiding a Nuclear Middle East

On October 17, 2009 the 90-day congressional review of the U.S.-UAE 123 Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation

passed without objection. This agreement, initiated by the Bush Administration, and finalized by the Obama Administration, exemplifies the U.S’s willingness to cooperate on civil nuclear power issues in return for guarantees of proper safeguards. In return for agreeing to abstain from uranium enrichment, reprocessing of fuel and implementing a robust export control regime, the U.S. has agreed to provide the full panoply of civilian nuclear research and power production technology (subject to individual licensing).

The 123 Agreement sets strong precedent for urging Iran to accept the current nuclear cooperation deal by the Obama administration’s deadline. Tehran has repeatedly claimed any nuclear program is for peaceful purposes such as electricity and medical treatment. That being so, the U.S.-UAE 123 Agreement provides the basic framework that a nation can use in the pursuit of civilian nuclear power. By accessing the safe and proven nuclear technology the United States can offer, a small country in the Middle East has has taken a great step towards a bright future.


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