Trump envoy presses Saudi Arabia to allow nuclear inspections

Trump envoy presses Saudi Arabia to allow nuclear inspections
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The Trump administration urged Saudi Arabia to allow nuclear inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in a letter sent to the country.

The letter laid out rules that Saudi Arabia needs to abide by to recieve U.S. nuclear technology, Bloomberg reported. Saudi Arabia has to accept the IAEA's Additional Protocol, which grants inspectors access to areas of atomic activity and is abided by in more than 100 countries.

“An additional protocol is what is going to be required, not only because that’s what the IAEA requires but because that’s what Congress requires," Bloomberg reported Secretary of Energy Rick PerryRick PerryNew Energy secretary cancels Paris trip amid mass strikes against Macron proposal Mellman: The 'lane theory' is the wrong lane to be in Overnight Energy: Critics call EPA air guidance 'an industry dream' | New Energy secretary says Trump wants to boost coal | EPA looks to speed approval of disputed industry pollution permits MORE as saying in Vienna Tuesday. "This isn’t just the Trump administration unilaterally deciding."

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If the Saudi government decides against complying by the Additional Protocol, the kingdom will have to figure out how to obtain low-enriched uranium for fuel for its first major reactor alone, according to Bloomberg.

The inspections would ensure the country was not using uranium to construct weapons.

The Saudi government follows the IAEA's Small Quantities Protocol and is negotiating the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the agency. The latter would permit the country to fuel its reactor but would not fulfill the United States' requests, Bloomberg reported.

Khaled bin Saleh Al-Sultan, president of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, said in a statement released Monday that the kingdom "supports the promotion of the peaceful use of atomic energy." 

"The Kingdom also supports and endorses active international cooperation with regard to the transfer of nuclear technology and expertise within the framework of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement," the statement read.