Saudis expand their nuclear cooperation horizons in new deal with South Korea

Saudis expand their nuclear cooperation horizons in new deal with South Korea

[Ed. – So much more responsible than the earlier deal with Pakistan.]

As U.S. and Iranian diplomats inched toward progress on Tehran’s nuclear program last week, Saudi Arabia quietly signed its own nuclear-cooperation agreement with South Korea.

That agreement, along with recent comments from Saudi officials and royals, is raising concerns on Capitol Hill and among U.S. allies that a deal with Iran, rather than stanching the spread of nuclear technologies, risks fueling it.

Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal, a member of the royal family, has publicly warned in recent months that Riyadh will seek to match the nuclear capabilities Iran is allowed to maintain as part of any final agreement reached with world powers. This could include the ability to enrich uranium and to harvest the weapons-grade plutonium discharged in a nuclear reactor’s spent fuel. …

A number of senior Arab officials have warned the White House in recent months the Saudi government could seek Pakistan’s aid in developing nuclear technologies—or even buy an atomic bomb—if it sees an agreement with Iran as too weak. Saudi officials have told successive U.S. administrations they expect to have Pakistan’s support in the nuclear field, if called upon, because of the kingdom’s massive financial support for the South Asian country.

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