The US is rushing to transfer sensitive nuclear power technology to Saudi Arabia, according to a new congressional report. A Democratic-led House panel has launched an inquiry over concerns about the White House plan to build nuclear reactors across the kingdom. Whistleblowers told the panel it could destabilise the Middle East by boosting nuclear weapons proliferation. Firms linked to the president have reportedly pushed for these transfers. The House of Representatives’ Oversight Committee report notes that an inquiry into the matter is “particularly critical because the Administration’s efforts to transfer sensitive US nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia appear to be ongoing”. President Donald Trump met nuclear power developers at the White House on 12 February to discuss building plants in Middle Eastern nations, including Saudi Arabia. And Mr Trump’s son-in-la w, White House adviser Jared Kushner, will be touring the Middle East this month to discuss the economics of the Trump administration’s peace plan. Saudi Arabia has said it wants nuclear power in order to diversify its energy sources and help address growing energy needs. But concerns around rival Iran developing nuclear technology are also at play, according to US media.
BBC 19th Feb 2019 read more »
Democrats in the House of Representatives have begun an investigation into allegations that senior White House officials sought to share sensitive nuclear information with Saudi Arabia. Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House oversight committee, announced the inquiry after the publication of a report to Congress warning of possible illegal technology transfers. The investigation was driven by “credible information from whistleblowers warning about conflicts of interest among top White House advisers”, Mr Cummings said in a letter. The whistleblowers alleged that a number of White House officials led by Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, pushed a plan to build nuclear plants in Saudi Arabia using a consortium of American companies. The report alleged that advisers sought to see a nuclear deal through without review by Congress, as required by law.
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