Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Congressional Hearing on US-UAE Nuclear Cooperation

The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing today on whether or not to approve a nuclear deal with the United Arab Emirates that would allow US firms to sell and operate peaceful nuclear technology in the Persian Gulf nation. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher answered questions on the proposed agreement, which was negotiated by the Bush Administration and signed by the Obama administration. The congressmen's questions focused on the UAE's ability to prevent the acquisition of technology by Iran and terrorist groups and whether it would spark a regional race for nuclear technology. Secretary Tauscher assured them that while some risks of course existed, they were small and far outweighed by the benefits.

Apparently mindful of the hurt and offense caused in the Arab world, and especially the UAE, by the Dubai Ports World scandal, the congressmen were all careful to emphasize their appreciation of American-Emirati friendship and the assistance given by the UAE to US counterterrorism efforts and the Iraq War.