14 March 2018
Saudi Arabia is fast-tracking an atomic energy programme to reduce its dependence on oil, but concerns over nuclear proliferation in the Middle East could put a damper on its ambitious plans.
The atomic policy, which limits nuclear activities to peaceful purposes, was approved by the cabinet on Tuesday just days before powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visits Washington.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter of oil, has framed its nuclear project as driven purely by economics.
The kingdom is struggling to meet fast-rising energy demand and crude prices remain far below their peaks reached before the 2014 market crash.
… “Concern about a nuclear arms race is fuelled by uncertainty over the future of Iran’s 2015 nuclear agreement, a seeming US willingness to weaken its strict export safeguards in pursuit of economic advantage, and a willingness by suppliers such as Russia and China to ignore risks involved in weaker controls,” said James Dorsey, a Middle East expert at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 15/03/2018