US to Sign Nuclear Pact With UAE

Some fear move could help fuel Iran's nuclear ambitions
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 12, 2008 6:42 AM CST
President Bush welcomes United Arab Emirates Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at Camp David, Md., Sunday, Aug 3, 2008.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – The White House is set to sign a nuclear cooperation agreement with the United Arab Emirates—a move some fear could put nuclear materials in the hands of Iran, the UAE’s top trading partner. The Bush administration’s first such pact with a Middle Eastern country would mean sharing US nuclear fuel and knowledge; in return, the UAE would agree to stick to strict nuclear regulations, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The plan, which requires the UAE to “rely on the markets for nuclear fuel,” is “a real counterexample to what Iran is doing,” says a US official. Legislation introduced ahead of the agreement calls on the next president to ensure that the UAE has worked to cut financing to Iran and prevent “sensitive technologies” from reaching the country, the Journal notes. Barack Obama would face a political challenge in deciding whether to push Congress to approve the measure.