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Russia marketing nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia

Riyadh hosts workshop on Russian nuclear technology RIYADH — ROSATOM State Atomic Energy Corporation organized a workshop on Russian nuclear technologies in Riyadh on Dec. 5 for representatives of Saudi companies. The event was held at the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce………

Milos Mostecky, vice president of Rusatom Overseas, highlighted the vast experience of ROSATOM in engaging local suppliers while projects implementation abroad.
“We are confident that Saudi companies are ready to take part in large-scale projects in power sector. Our Saudi partners are willing to participate in NPP construction in Saudi Arabia and think highly to perspective of cooperation with Rosatom,” Mostecky added.
In June 2018, ROSATOM was shortlisted to the next stage of competitive dialogue on Saudi Arabia’s first nuclear power project.
Russia and Saudi Arabia signed an Intergovernmental Agreement on cooperation in the field of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. On Oct. 5, 2017, ROSATOM and King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy signed Program for Cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. According to the program, Russia and Saudi Arabia intended to cooperate in the field of small and medium reactors, nuclear infrastructure development, consideration of prospects for establishing a center for nuclear science and technology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia based on a Russian-design research reactor etc…….http://saudigazette.com.sa/article/550060/SAUDI-ARABIA/Riyadh-hosts-workshop-onRussian-nuclear-technology
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December 13, 2018 Posted by | marketing, Russia, Saudi Arabia | Leave a comment

The worst performing countries for climate action- USA and Saudi Arabia

US, Saudi Arabia back-of-the-pack on curbing climate change,  Researchers have identified the United States and Saudi Arabia as the climate change laggards. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/us-saudi-arabia-back-of-the-pack-on-curbing-climate-changeThe United States and Saudi Arabia rank last when it comes to curbing climate change among the 56 nations accounting for 90 percent of planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, researchers said Monday.A large number of laggards means the world is dangerously off-track when it comes to slashing the carbon pollution that has already amplified droughts, flooding and deadly heatwaves worldwide, they reported on the margins of UN climate talks in Katowice, Poland.

Only a few countries have started to implement strategies to limit global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit),” the cornerstone target of the 2015 Paris climate treaty, according to NewClimate Institute and Germanwatch, an NGO.

Most governments “lack the political will to phase out fossil fuels with the necessary speed.”  Continue reading

December 11, 2018 Posted by | climate change, Saudi Arabia, USA | Leave a comment

US and Russia ally with Saudi Arabia to water down climate pledge 

Guardian, Jonathan Wattsand Ben DohertyMon 10 Dec 2018 , Move shocks delegates at UN cnference as ministers fly in for final week of climate talks The US and Russia have thrown climate talks into disarray by allying with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to water down approval of a landmark report on the need to keep global warming below 1.5C.

After a heated two-and-a-half-hour debate on Saturday night, the backwards step by the four major oil producers shocked delegates at the UN climate conference in Katowice as ministers flew in for the final week of high-level discussions.

It has also raised fears among scientists that the US president, Donald Trump, is going from passively withdrawing from climate talks to actively undermining them alongside a coalition of climate deniers.

Two months ago, representatives from the world’s governments hugged after agreeing on the 1.5C report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), commissioned to spell out the dire consequences should that level of warming be exceeded and how it can be avoided.

Reaching a global consensus was a painstaking process involving thousands of scientists sifting through years of research and diplomats working through the night to ensure the wording was acceptable to all nations.

But when it was submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on Saturday, the four oil allies – with Saudi Arabia as the most obdurate – rejected a motion to “welcome” the study. Instead, they said it should merely be “noted”, which would make it much easier for governments to ignore. The motion has not yet been able to pass as a result of the lack of consensus.

t opened up a rift at the talks that will be hard to close in the coming five days. During the plenary, the EU, a bloc of the 47 least developed countries, as well as African and Latin and South American nations, all spoke in favour of the report. Several denounced the four countries trying to dilute its importance. ………

Scientists were also outraged. “It is troubling. Saudi Arabia has always had bad behaviour in climate talks, but it could be overruled when it was alone or just with Kuwait. That it has now been joined by the US and Russia is much more dangerous,” said Alden Meyer, the director of strategy and policy in the Union of Concerned Scientists….

Ministers have only five days to establish a rulebook for the Paris agreement. A wild card is the role of the host nation, Poland – the most coal-dependant nation in Europe – which will chair the final week of the meeting………

As well as acceptance of the report, there are several other potential fights brewing regarding transparency rules for reporting emissions and proposals for wealthy high emitters to provide financial support to poorer nations struggling to adapt. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/09/us-russia-ally-saudi-arabia-water-down-climate-pledges-un

December 10, 2018 Posted by | climate change, Russia, Saudi Arabia, USA | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia, the US, Kuwait and Russia tried to erase meaning of UN’s report on the impacts of 1.5C warming  

Climate science on 1.5C erased at UN talks as US and Saudis step in Climate Home News,  08/12/2018In a moment of drama in Poland, countries closed ranks against a push by oil producers to water down recognition of the UN’s report on the impacts of 1.5C warming  By Sara Stefanini and Karl Mathiesen

Four big oil and gas producers blocked UN climate talks from welcoming the most influential climate science report in years, as a meeting in Poland descended into acrimony on Saturday.

By failing to reach agreement after two and half hours of emotional negotiations, delegates in Katowice set the scene for a political fight next week over the importance of the UN’s landmark scientific report on the effects of a 1.5C rise in the global temperature.

The battle, halfway through a fortnight of Cop24 negotiations, was over two words: “note” or “welcome”.

Saudi Arabia, the US, Kuwait and Russia said it was enough for the members of the UN climate convention (the UNFCCC) to “note” the findings.

But poor and undeveloped countries, small island states, Europeans and many others called to change the wording to “welcome” the study – noting that they had commissioned it when they reached the Paris climate agreement in 2015.

“This is not a choice between one word and another,” Rueanna Haynes, a delegate for St Kitts and Nevis, told the plenary. “This is us, as the UNFCCC, being in a position to welcome a report that we requested, that we invited [scientists] to prepare. So it seems to me that if there is anything ludicrous about the discussion that is taking place, it is that we in this body are not in a position to welcome the report.”

The four opposing countries argued the change was not necessary. Saudi Arabia threatened to block the entire discussion if others pushed to change the single word – and warned that it would disrupt the last stretch of negotiations between ministers next week.

The aim of the Cop24 climate summit is to agree a dense set of technical rules to underpin the Paris Agreement’s goals for limiting global warming to well below 2C, and ideally 1.5C, by the end of the century.

The scientific report was published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in October. It found that limiting global warming to 1.5C, rather than below 2C, could help avoid some of the worst effects of climate change, and potentially save vulnerable regions such as low-lying islands and coastal villages in the Arctic. But it also made clear that the world would have to slash greenhouse gases by about 45% by 2030……….

Financial aid is still contentious issue. The rules on how and what developed countries must report on their past and planned funding, and the extent to which emerging economies are urged to do the same, remains largely up for debate.

In a further moment of drama on Saturday afternoon, Africa stood firm as UN officials tried to finalise a draft of the rules that will govern the deal. Africa’s representative Mohamed Nasr said the continent could not accept the deal as it was presented, forcing the text to be redrafted on the plenary floor.

“You can’t bully Africa, it’s 54 countries,” said one negotiator, watching from the plenary floor.

The change will mean new proposals to be made to the text next week. That would allow African ministers to attempt to strengthen a major climate fund dedicated to helping countries adapt to climate change and push for less strict measures for developing countries.

“We have been voicing our concerns, maybe the co-chairs in their attempt to seek a balanced outcome they overlooked some of the stuff. So we are saying that we are not going to stop the process but we need to make sure that our views are included,” Nasr told CHN.

Mohamed Adow, a campaigner with Christian Aid, said the African intervention had “saved the process” by ensuring that dissatisfied countries could still have their issues heard.

“It’s actually much better than it’s ever been in this process at this stage,” he said. “Because this is the end of the first week and ministers have been provided with clear options. Of course nothing is closed but the options are actually narrower.”

It was a long and emotional plenary meeting to mark the halfway point in a fortnight of negotiations.

Four big oil and gas producers blocked the UN climate talksfrom welcoming the most influential climate science report in years – and met backlash from a broad range of poor, developing and rich countries. The battle was over two words: “note” or “welcome”.

Saudi Arabia, the US, Kuwait and Russia wanted the final statement to merely “note” the UN science report on the effects of 1.5C rise in the global temperature. But a call that started with the alliance of small island states pushed to “welcome” the findings.

The plenary chair’s attempt to find a compromise fell flat, setting the scene for a big political fight when ministers arrive in Katowice next week.

And that wasn’t the only moment of drama on Saturday. Earlier in the day, Africa stood firm as UN officials tried to finalise a draft of the rules that will govern the Paris Agreement. “You can’t bully Africa, it’s 54 countries,” one negotiator said.

The change will mean new proposals could come next week.  http://www.climatechangenews.com/2018/12/08/climate-science-1-5c-erased-un-talks-us-saudis-step/

December 10, 2018 Posted by | climate change, Russia, Saudi Arabia, USA | Leave a comment

In 2014, Saudi Arabia tried to delete part of UN climate science report 

Saudis accused of deleting part of UN climate science report   Climate Home News 23/05/2014 British scientist expresses his surprise when parts of IPCC text were ‘mutilated’ at April meeting in Berlin By Ed King

A coalition led by Saudi Arabia attempted to mask their contribution to rising levels of greenhouse gas emissions during discussions at the UN’s most recent climate science meeting.

That’s the charge laid by John Broome, a British philosopher and economist at Oxford University, and contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report.

He’s not the first to make these accusations – that prize goes to Giovanni Baiocchi, an economist at the University of Maryland.

But Broome is the first to offer a compelling narrative of how the four–day Berlin meeting of IPCC Working Group 3 scientists in April unfolded.

In a detailed blog published on May 20 he says the ‘Summary for Policymakers’, a concise document that pulls together thousands of pages of work, was “mutilated” by government officials.

“The degree of compression in the SPM meant that every sentence counts. In drafting it, we authors each found ourselves defending our favourite sentences,” Broome writes.

“Some sections were cut to pieces because the different views of the delegations turned out to be irreconcilable.”

Broome contends that in the early hours of April 12, a coalition of countries led by Saudi Arabia insisted that all figures showing emissions of greenhouse gas from countries classified by their “income group” were deleted. Other reports indicate China was also part of this push. ……..

Key summary

It should be stressed the SPM is the only part of the IPCC texts that receives this level of political interrogation or interference from governments – perhaps because they know it’s the only part most policymakers will read.

This can then form the basis of various negotiating positions at UN climate talks, which are heating up as a global emissions reduction deal scheduled to be signed off in December 2015 draws close.

The original findings remain untouched…….. http://www.climatechangenews.com/2014/05/23/saudi-blocking-of-un-climate-science-report-exposed/

December 10, 2018 Posted by | climate change, Saudi Arabia | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia renews nuclear energy ties with Argentina as pressure over Khashoggi rises 

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/energy/saudi-arabia-renews-nuclear-energy-ties-with-argentina-as-pressure-over-khashoggi-rises

December 6, 2018 Posted by | politics international, Saudi Arabia, SOUTH AMERICA | 1 Comment

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MbS) and his goal of a nuclear kingdom

The Crown Prince May Build Himself a Nuclear Kingdom https://nationalinterest.org/blog/middle-east-watch/crown-prince-may-build-himself-nuclear-kingdom-37292 The Trump administration should keep a close eye on Saudi Arabia’s nuclear connections and activities. by Ronen Dangoor, 28 Nov 18

The horrific murder of Jamal Khashoggi shed light on the reckless and dangerous decisionmaking process of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman (MbS). In addition to the latest crisis The New York Times recently published a story about how the prince’s closest security personnel sought to hire private foreign companies to assassinate senior Iranian officials—an act that could have trigger a regional military conflict. This conduct follows a string of other bizarre events in the last few months, initiated by MbS.

The crown prince has demonstrated arrogant, cruel, amateur and capricious behavior. His aggression has been left almost unmonitored by checks and balances inside the Saudi hierarchy. Indeed, MbS has constrained all his potential rivals and has taken full controlof Saudi Arabia’s security and intelligence bodies. As the Khashoggi scandal has proven—such power enables dictators to secretly execute dangerous operations. In parallel, he managed to become the darling of the West after he initiated economic reforms and launched his so called modern 2030 vision .

Now add Saudi’s long history of nuclear ambitions to the mix. For years, Saudi officials have warned that Saudi Arabia will not curb its nuclear ambitions if it will sense a threat to its national security, or if Iran advances in its nuclear program. Rumors were that Pakistan was obliged to provide the Saudis a ready-for-use nuclear weapon if and when the time comes. Things only got more complicated once the nuclear agreement (JCPOA) with Iran was signed in 2015, practically legitimizing Iran’s rights to maintain and develop its uranium enrichment capabilities. At the beginning of November 2018, the crown prince participated in the opening ceremony marking the launch of construction of Riyadh’s first research reactor . It’s still early days and only a symbolic act—the Saudis lack knowhow, technicians, infrastructure and academic expertise—but the country has both enough ambition and funds to advance anyway. Shortly after that the Saudi energy minister said the kingdom launches uranium exploration program.

Over the last decade, purchasing sixteen nuclear power reactors—later scaled back to two reactors—plus uranium enrichment capabilities preferably from the United States, has

featured prominently on the Saudi agenda. The official rationale is the country’s future needs to supply energy —with self-sufficient nuclear materials. While having enrichment capabilities can serve to counterbalance Iran, it may also constitute a future military nuclear program. During previous negotiations with Saudi officials, the Obama administration insisted that Saudi Arabia must comply with the “ gold standard ,” reflective of the conditions imposed on the UAE when it agreed to buy U.S. reactors in 2009. This standard requires a commitment not to enrich uranium or to produce plutonium as a strict condition for any agreement to sell nuclear reactors. According to current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration has maintained this policy . In an interview with CBS in March 2018, MbS maintained that “without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we would follow suit as soon as possible.”

Following the murder of Khashoggi, Senate members urged the Trump administration to curb any intention to sell nuclear reactors to the Saudi regime. This move is certainly necessary, but not nearly enough. An American refusal to his demands can push the prince to seek an alternative option elsewhere, with producers that will be all too happy to assist—for the right price.

Much of MbS’s current conduct lies parallel to previous experience with three other Middle East tyrants: former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, Libya’s leader Muammar el-Qaddafi, and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. These cynical dictators have a common denominator in their infinite ambitions, which ultimately led them to secretly promote a nuclear weapons program. They all relied heavily on their security systems in initiating these plans. Libya and Syria had no sufficient nuclear infrastructure, so they bought a turnkey nuclear project from Pakistan’s A.Q. Khan Network, and in the Syrian case from North Korea .

The Saudi nuclear issue has placed a challenge before the administration. If the prince is successful in surviving the current crisis, then that could prompt him to make even riskier decisions, including taking the nuclear path. Much like in Iraq, Libya and Syria, all the necessary components for that are now in place: A de facto dictator with delusions of grandeur and poor judgment, full control over the security services, unlimited funds for the purpose, a national sense of isolation, an acute threat, and a long-term nuclear vision. As Iran seems to be complying with the JCPOA, a Saudi move could instigate a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. To avoid this, the Trump administration should warn and restrict the Saudi heir. It should also keep a very close eye on Saudi Arabia’s nuclear connections and activities.

Ronen Dangoor is the former deputy head of the research and analysis division at the Israeli prime minister’s office.

 

November 29, 2018 Posted by | politics, Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Trump’s international nuclear negotiations will lead to Saudi Arabia getting nuclear weapons

Why Saudi Arabia Will Acquire Nuclear Weapons If the Trump administration continues to turn its nuclear negotiations into a boondoggle, then nothing will prevent Riyadh from building bombs.,National Interest by Paul R. Pillar, 28 Nov 18

The Trump administration’s handling of nuclear negotiations with Saudi Arabia promises to lay bare some realities about security issues and nuclear programs in that part of the world that the administration has refused to acknowledge. A front-page article by David Sanger and William Broad in the New York Timesreviews some of the still-unresolved questions. The Saudi regime insists on producing its own nuclear fuel, which would be different from terms the United States has negotiated with some other states, including the United Arab Emirates, that have sought U.S. assistance in developing their nuclear programs. The Saudis have balked at comprehensive international inspections to detect any work on nuclear weapons. And Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) has explicitly threatened to develop nuclear weapons, ostensibly in response to any similar development by Iran.

A useful model for approaching this situation involves Iran. The model is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the multilateral accord commonly known as the Iranian nuclear deal, which Donald Trump has castigated and on which his administration has reneged by imposing new economic sanctions despite continued Iranian compliance with the JCPOA. The JCPOA closed all possible pathways to development of an Iranian nuclear weapon through stringent restrictions on enrichment of uranium, the gutting of reactors that otherwise might be used to produce plutonium, and the prohibition of any reprocessing by Iran of nuclear fuel. The agreement also established a thorough inspection system that involves not only routine monitoring of nuclear facilities but also the ability of international inspectors to inspect any other sites they may have reason to suspect are housing nuclear-related activity, with the other parties to the agreement being able to outvote Iran in the event of disagreement about the relevance of a requested inspection. This is the kind of highly intrusive inspection arrangement that the Saudis reportedly are refusing to apply to themselves.

The principal U.S. negotiator has been Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, for whom this is a learning-on-the-job experience. Perry was initially unaware of the Department of Energy’s nuclear responsibilities and believed his job would consist of promoting the oil industry. (This contrasts with Perry’s predecessor, Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist who played a key role in negotiation of the highly detailed JCPOA.)………

Amid all the talk among opponents of the JCPOA about ballistic missiles, it is worth noting that Saudi Arabia has been ahead of its regional neighbors on that count as well. Two decades ago, Saudi Arabia secretly purchased medium-range missiles from China that, although reportedly configured to carry conventional weapons, were of a type originally designed to deliver a nuclear warhead. The Saudis in more recent years have modernized their missile force, again relying on China as the supplier.

Destabilizing regional activity also implies that Saudi Arabia is more of a worry than most states regarding the implications of possible acquisition of nuclear weapons. Saudi Arabia has bombed Yemen into becoming a humanitarian catastrophe, has kidnapped and attempted to coerce into resignation the prime minister of Lebanon, and has used diplomatic facilities in foreign countries to assassinate nonviolent dissidents. The impetuous young prince behind these policies has been moving toward one-man rule, shedding even the restraints of what had been a collective family autocracy.

The murder of Jamal Khashoggi has drawn some recent and welcome attention to this pattern of behavior, although it has not budged Donald Trump from his stance of sticking with MbS no matter what he does. California Rep. Brad Sherman has appropriately observed, “A country that can’t be trusted with a bone saw shouldn’t be trusted with nuclear weapons.”

The administration’s assault on the JCPOA may provide the trigger for Saudi Arabia to try to obtain such weapons. If the U.S. “maximum pressure” campaign succeeds in negating completely the economic relief Iran was supposed to have received under the JCPOA, then Iranian leaders may yet throw up their hands in disgust and pronounce the agreement null and void. This would release Iran from all its nuclear restrictions under the agreement, which in turn might provide the perfect rationale for Riyadh, especially as long as MbS is in charge, to acquire the bomb.

Paul R. Pillar is a contributing editor at the National Interest and the author of Why America Misunderstands the World . https://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/why-saudi-arabia-will-acquire-nuclear-weapons-37197

 

November 29, 2018 Posted by | politics international, Saudi Arabia, USA | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman – wanting a nuclear bomb?

November 24, 2018 Posted by | politics international, Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Almost truly incredible – the farce of Saudi Arabia’s Investigation of Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder

Saudi Arabia’s Investigation of Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder Is a Tragic Farce, New Yorker, By Robin Wright, November 16, 2018     Despite six weeks of ferocious denials by Saudi Arabia, U.S. intelligence has concluded that the kingdom’s ambitious young crown prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, personally ordered the execution of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in Istanbul last month, the Washington Postreported late Friday. The U.S. assessment was reportedly based on a growing array of hard data as well as a psychological study of the thirty-three-year-old prince. The most damning and specific intelligence was provided by Turkey, including audio recordings of the murder inside the Saudi consulate and a call from the diplomatic mission back to Saudi Arabia immediately afterwards. Turkey shared both with the C.I.A. director Gina Haspel. But the United States also had its own electronic intercepts of conversations, some retrieved in a search of its electronic archives after Khashoggi’s murder on October 2nd, the Post reported. One was reportedly between the crown prince’s brother Khalid, who was the Saudi Ambassador to Washington at the time, and Khashoggi, who was told to go to Istanbul to get official papers proving his divorce so he could remarry.

November 19, 2018 Posted by | Reference, Saudi Arabia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

New Bill in U.S. Congress would block a nuclear deal with Saudi Arabia

House Democrat to introduce new bill punishing Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi, It would block a controversial nuclear deal that’s very important to Saudi Arabia. Vox  By A House Democrat will soon introduce legislation to punish Saudi Arabia over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi — by trying to halt an impending nuclear deal with the country.

Obtained exclusively by Vox, the bill — nicknamed the “No Nuclear Weapons for Saudi Arabia Act of 2018” — if passed would be the strongest rebuke to Saudi Arabia yet since the uproar over Khashoggi’s fate.

Khashoggi, a US resident, was killed by Saudi officials inside the country’s consulate in Istanbul last month. That led to a major international outcry over his death, including from many in the US who wanted to see the Washington-Riyadh relationship curtailed.

Most of the discussions on how to do that center on stopping billions of dollars in arms sales to the kingdom, but President Donald Trump has repeatedly said he doesn’t want to jeopardize money coming into the United States, and some members of Congress privately worry that stopping weapons shipments to Saudi Arabia might negatively impact jobs.

So instead of doing that, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) wants to stop a major nuclear deal between the US and Saudi Arabia that’s been under negotiation for months, and which he has long railed against.

“I don’t think this bill would’ve passed prior to the events in Istanbul,” Sherman told me. “Now I think we have a chance.” It’s also very possible a Republican will co-sponsor the bill when it’s officially introduced in the next 10 congressional days.

The legislation would do three main things:

  • Force Trump to submit a “123 Agreement,” or a set of rules that make it legal for the US to sell nuclear technology to another country, for congressional approval.
    • Force the administration to tell Congress that Saudi Arabia will abide by the agreement’s “Gold Standard” (more on that below) and an inspections agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the world’s nuclear watchdog
    • Require the administration to write reports on Saudi Arabia’s probe into Khashoggi’s murder and the state of human rights in the kingdom
    Sherman’s bill could completely block Saudi Arabia’s plans to obtain nuclear technology from the United States, especially since there’s growing bipartisan support to reprimand Riyadh over Khashoggi.

    It would come as a big blow to Saudi Arabia: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, more commonly known as MBS, launched a project on Monday to build his country’s first nuclear research reactor.

    There’s also some bipartisan support to stop nuclear talks with Riyadh in the Senate.

    Sens. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), for example, have sent letters to Trump requesting he at least suspend negotiations with Saudi Arabia over the nuclear deal. It’s unclear if either of them will draft parallel legislation to the House version, although a spokesperson for Rubio’s office told me the senator “possibly” could consider a bill in the future. …….

    American companies have already lined up to sell and build nuclear parts for Saudi Arabia,  …….

  • Saudi Arabia could accelerate a nuclear arms race in the Middle East

    There’s legitimate concern about what Riyadh would do with a brand new nuclear reactor if this indeed happens.

    On March 18, MBS openly admitted on CBS’s 60 Minutes that obtaining a nuke was a possibility……..

  • There are other signs that Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning nuclear program is really all about weapons — and not mainly for energy — like it repeatedly says. One possible indicator is that Riyadh has focused on nuclear energy and not renewable energy to bring power to its millions of citizens. …….https://www.vox.com/2018/11/9/18072660/saudi-arabia-nuclear-deal-congress-123-agreement-sherman?fbclid=IwAR1-MMsdZfBxfPVPs0jxhEm1k8eWPzi22OTWpOCHavjtdWa5MKBcBhWGj9Y

November 10, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics international, Saudi Arabia, USA | Leave a comment

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launches nuclear project in Saudi Arabia

Bin Salman launches Saudi Arabia’s first nuclear plant project, Aljazeera, 6 Nov 18 
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launches project to build the first nuclear research reactor in the kingdom. 
 Saudi Arabia‘s crown prince has launched a project to build the first nuclear research reactor in the kingdom, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, launched seven strategic projects in renewable energy, atomic energy, water desalination, genetic medicine and the aircraft industry during his visit to King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology on Monday.

The two most significant projects include a nuclear research reactor and a centre for the development of aircraft structures.

In March, MBS announced his country’s readiness to develop nuclear weapons in the event that Iran heads in that direction………

Nuclear power

Last year, the International Atomic Energy Agency said the Saudi government had invited proposals for the construction of two nuclear power reactors to boost the country’s energy mix.

The kingdom is considering building 17.6 gigawatts (GW) of nuclear capacity by 2032, the equivalent of about 17 reactors, making it one of the biggest projects globally…….https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/bin-salman-launches-saudi-arabia-nuclear-plant-project-181105192827938.html

November 8, 2018 Posted by | politics, Saudi Arabia | Leave a comment

South Korean firm KEPCO keen to get $20 billion by selling nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia

Kepco is still working to land Saudi nuclear power deal,  Korea JoongAng Daily   BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr], 2 Nov 18, GWANGJU – The CEO of Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) said it still hopes to be picked for a $20 billion nuclear power plant project in Saudi Arabia that is expected to be decided by the end of next year. …….

“We are trying to show that we are working to become Saudi’s long-term partner,” Kim said

In July Korea was put on the shortlist for the Saudi nuclear project along with the U.S., China, Japan and Russia.

The Saudi government is planning to build two nuclear power plants with a 2.8 gigawatt capacity by 2030. The country has plans to build a total of 16 nuclear power plants in the next 20 to 25 years. …….

Kim said earnings from overseas could make it easier for Kepco not to raise domestic electricity bills. ……..http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3055054

November 5, 2018 Posted by | marketing, Saudi Arabia, South Korea | Leave a comment

End nuclear energy talks with Saudi Arbai – 5 Republican senators tell Trump

Republican senators ask Trump to end nuclear energy talks with Saudi Arabia     https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/republican-senators-ask-trump-to-end-nuclear-energy-talks-with-saudi-arabia/2018/10/31/71fdbb60-dd20-11e8-b3f0-62607289efee_story.html?utm_term=.eb0c6524a937 By Karoun Demirjian October 31  

Five Republican senators sent a letter to President Trump on Wednesday imploring him to end ongoing discussions with Saudi Arabia on nuclear energy cooperation in the wake of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi’s killing at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

The senators also threatened in the letter to file legislation to block any civil nuclear agreements with Saudi Arabia if Trump will not agree to suspend negotiations “for the foreseeable future.”

“We already held serious reservations about negotiations for such an agreement,” Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Todd C. Young (R-Ind.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) wrote in the letter, first reported by NBC.

“The ongoing revelations about the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as well as certain Saudi actions related to Yemen and Lebanon, have raised further serious concerns about the transparency, accountability, and judgment of current decision-makers in Saudi Arabia.”

Congressional dissatisfaction with the U.S.-Saudi relationship was on a slow ascent before the prominent journalist’s disappearance earlier this month. But his apparent murder — which most lawmakers believe occurred at the behest of Saudi leaders, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — has precipitated unprecedented calls for consequences, from sanctions to an end to arms sales and military support for the Saudi kingdom in its controversial regional engagements, particularly in Yemen’s civil war.

Saudi officials have acknowledged that Khashoggi, a self-exiled critic of the Saudi government, was killed in the consulate, but deny that the action had their authorization.

[Turkish prosecutor says Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered in Saudi Consulate]

The senators’ letter indicates yet another layer of distrust in Saudi leaders: concern that the kingdom may try to adapt nuclear technologies acquired in a civil-use deal for weapon-making purposes.

Saudi Arabia has never agreed to terms that would prohibit it from turning a civil nuclear program dedicated for energy production into a tool to enrich uranium, reprocess plutonium and pursue other weapons-grade uses “that can bring a nation within weeks of producing a nuclear weapon,” they wrote, pointing out that the United Arab Emirates did accept such terms for a similar deal.

The senators suggested that it would be hypocritical and dangerous for the United States to accept anything less than a Saudi pledge to abide by terms of an Emirates-style deal — terms known as the “Gold Standard” — especially when the administration is demanding such behavior from Iran.

“Given your Administration’s ongoing efforts to press the Iranian regime — in the words of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — to ‘stop enrichment and never pursue plutonium reprocessing,’ we have long believed that it is therefore critical and necessary for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to accept and uphold this ‘Gold Standard’ for responsible nuclear behavior,” the senators wrote.

November 1, 2018 Posted by | politics international, Saudi Arabia, USA | Leave a comment

America shouldn’t trust Saudi Arabia with nuclear technology

Khashoggi’s Killing Should Be a Nuclear Red Flag,  The Saudis can’t be trusted to enrich uranium and reprocess spent fuel. WSJ, By Jamie Fly and Henry Sokolski,Oct. 28, 2018 If the Saudi government’s prevarications about Jamal Khashoggi’s murder teach us anything, it should be that there are limits to how far the U.S. can trust Riyadh. In particular, America shouldn’t trust Saudi Arabia with nuclear technology……….

the risk of regime change if there is nuclear power in Saudi Arabia. Nuclear reactors operate for 40 years or more and are far more dangerous than any conventional arms sales. In the 1970s, the U.S. considered selling the shah of Iran 23 reactors. That would have been a colossal mistake. Saudi officials, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have publicly threatened to violate the Kingdom’s Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty commitment not to acquire nuclear weapons if they believe Iran is acquiring them. The U.S. has never negotiated a nuclear cooperation agreement with a country threatening to get nuclear weapons.

The United Arab Emirates, a Saudi neighbor and ally, agreed to allow intrusive international nuclear inspections and to forgo enriching uranium and reprocessing spent fuel as part of its 2009 nuclear cooperation agreement with Washington. Riyadh has refused to make such pledges.

Enriching and reprocessing could bring Riyadh within weeks of making bombs. It is unclear if the administration is intent on pressing the Saudis on this point……..

After Saudi Arabia’s kidnapping last year of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, its bungling of the war in Yemen, its erratic diplomatic moves against Canada, its continued jailing of human-rights activists, and now the killing of Khashoggi, Washington must demand more. This regime can’t be trusted with nuclear technology. Concluding a nuclear cooperation agreement to Riyadh’s liking would undermine the Trump administration’s effort to reverse the nuclear concessions President Obama made to Iran and set a dangerous precedent in the region.

Any negotiations regarding a U.S.-Saudi nuclear cooperation agreement should be halted. If the Trump administration refuses to do this, Congress should make clear, as part of its broader response to the Khashoggi killing, that any agreement submitted for review will be blocked.

This episode should serve as a reminder that unreliable proxies are no substitute for American leadership. A Reaganesque approach to Iran requires the fortitude to stand up for what is right, be it on nonproliferation or human rights, whether it involves friend or foe.

Mr. Fly is a senior fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Mr. Sokolski is executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center and author of “Underestimated: Our Not So Peaceful Nuclear Future.” https://www.wsj.com/articles/khashoggis-killing-should-be-a-nuclear-red-flag-1540753005

 

October 29, 2018 Posted by | politics international, Saudi Arabia | Leave a comment