03:32 GMT27 November 2020
Listen Live
    Middle East
    Get short URL

    Earlier this year, Riyadh announced plans to allocate more than 80 billion dollars for the construction of 16 nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia over the next 25 years. Right now, Saudi authorities are reportedly trying to wrap up a corresponding deal with their US counterparts.

    US President Donald Trump has been presented with Tel Aviv's "red lines" pertaining to a possible agreement whereby Washington would help Saudi Arabia build nuclear reactors, according to a report by Israel's Channel 10 News.

    The report said that a couple of weeks ago, Israeli Energy Minister and head of the country's Atomic Energy Commission Yuval Steinitz met US counterpart Rick Perry in Washington to allegedly express concern over potential uranium enrichment in Saudi Arabia.

    READ MORE: Nuclear-Armed Saudi Arabia Can 'Start a Nuclear Race in Middle East' — Scholar

    Steinitz also told Perry that Israel wants to know all the details of the US-Saudi deal in advance and discuss the planned location of the reactors in Saudi Arabia.

    Additionally, Steinitz called for full transparency of the Washington-Riyadh talks, requesting that the US provide all the fuel to the reactors and to remove it from Saudi Arabia so that it cannot be reprocessed.

    READ MORE: Saudi Arabia 'May Hope Israel Will Do the Job for Them and Fight Iran' – Analyst

    Steinitz's meeting with Perry came after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS in May that Riyadh "does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible."

    Declaring its plans in March to spend more than 80 billion dollars to build 16 nuclear power reactors in Saudi Arabia over the next quarter century, Riyadh invited US companies to take part in the project.

    However, acceptance from Washington stipulates the signing of a peaceful nuclear cooperation pact that separates civil and military nuclear facilities while ensuring that nuclear fuel production cannot be used to make nuclear bombs.

    READ MORE: Saudi Arabia Insists on Expanding Sanctions Against Iran in Tune With Washington

    The US and Saudi Arabia were in talks on bilateral nuclear collaboration under former US President Barack Obama, but the negotiations came to a standstill after Riyadh rejected the so-called "gold standard," which bans Saudi Arabia from enriching uranium or reprocessing spent nuclear fuel to extract plutonium.

    US President Donald Trump, who earlier called Saudi Arabia "a big purchaser of equipment and lots of other things," has reportedly promised to scrap the "gold standard"-related request.

    READ MORE: Under Crown Prince's Rule, Saudi-US-Israel United by Anti-Iran Interests

    Israel, which still refuses to declare its nuclear weapons capability, has never signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, of which Saudi Arabia is a signatory.

    At the same time, the two countries are equally concerned over Iran's nuclear ambitions, which they claim were aimed at obtaining an atom bomb.

    Both Riyadh and Tel Aviv hailed Washington's withdrawal in May from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). They slammed the JCPOA as a "flawed" agreement and warned that Iran should not be trusted.


    Israel, Saudi Arabia Reportedly Agree on Transit Link Via 'Secret Contacts'
    Iran Blames Saudi Arabia for Paying Billions to US, Israel
    Money Talks: Israel, Saudi Arabia Held Secret Meeting in Cairo - Reports
    Netanyahu: Saudi Arabia to Open Airspace for Air India Flights From Israel
    fuel, concern, talks, deal, uranium enrichment, agreement, Rick Perry, Yuval Steinitz, Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia, Israel
    Community standardsDiscussion