US Puts UAE on Fast Track to Nuclear Power

Abu Dhabi could have electricity program by 2017
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 2, 2009 6:43 AM CDT
President Barack Obama believes the UAE could be a "model for the world," one close to him told the Wall Street Journal.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – An Arab state may be on the fast track to developing nuclear power—with the help of the US, the Wall Street Journal reports. American experts have been jetting to Abu Dhabi in recent few months to support the UAE’s nuclear aspirations, which could be speedily realized by 2017 under a treaty signed by George W. Bush just before he left office. But while Obama’s calls the program a “model for the world,” other lawmakers remain concerned.

The UAE would get its nuclear fuel on the international market, instead of enriching uranium which could be used for weapons, and it would submit to random facilities inspections. Still, the idea of helping a Persian Gulf state—and one located so close to Iran—go nuclear has some lawmakers threatening to block the deal, worried that other Arab states will jump on the nuclear bandwagon.