Zarif decries ‘US hypocrisy’ over planned nuclear sale to Saudis

Zarif decries ‘US hypocrisy’ over planned nuclear sale to Saudis

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the United States’ attempted sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia was hypocritical of Washington.

Zarif’s comment on Twitter on Wednesday came after reports that the administration of US President Donald Trump is trying to bypass US Congress to advance the sale of US nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia.

“Day by day it becomes clearer to the world what was always clear to us: neither human rights nor a nuclear program have been the real concern of the US,” Zarif wrote in a tweet.

“First a dismembered journalist; now illicit sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia fully expose #USHypocrisy,” Zarif added, referring to the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of Saudi agents, and the new report by a US congressional committee on the planned sale. 

The attempt to sell nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia is in violation of US law guarding against technology transfer, the congressional report states.

The news of the planned sale was received with concerns by security analysts who believe the transfer of highly sensitive US nuclear technology could pave the way for the production of nuclear weapons in the Saudi kingdom.

A Democratic-led House commitee is now investigating efforts by US nuclear power companies to win the Trump administration’s approval to build nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.

A key target of the Committee’s inquiry is an effort by IP3 International, a consortium of nuclear power producers that began lobbying during the Trump transition in late 2016 and early 2017 to win presidential approval to develop nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia.

In May 2018, Trump withdrew the US from the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal, under which Iran scaled back its uranium enrichment programme and promised not to pursue nuclear weapons.

In exchange for the deal – signed in 2015 in Vienna with six world powers; the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union – international sanctions were lifted, allowing it to sell its oil and gas worldwide. However, secondary US sanctions remained.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has repeatedly confirmed that Tehran has been meeting its nuclear commitments fully.


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