Obama Pushes Global Uranium Fuel Bank

Shared supply would undercut Iran's claims of 'peaceful' enrichment
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2009 10:33 AM CDT
Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, is supporting efforts for a global uranium bank.   (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, file)
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(Newser) – President Obama has proposed the creation of a global supply of uranium that would allow nations to obtain fuel for civilian nuclear power but would curtail rogue states' ability to build weapons. An international bank could hamper Iran's efforts to justify its covert enrichment program, the Boston Globe reports. "We want to give the Iranians an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to peaceful nuclear energy," said a White House official.

In his Cairo speech, Obama said the Middle East needed to remain WMD-free but insisted that "any nation—including Iran—should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power." The International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN's nuclear watchdog, is also in favor of a uranium bank. In a report last week, the agency underlined the importance of a new international architecture for uranium, noting that it was becoming more difficult to track enrichment activities in Iran and Syria.