Senator Markey Calls for Suspending All Civil Nuclear Cooperation with Saudi Arabia
Also requests revocation of 810 authorizations
Washington (October 31, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting him to direct his administration to suspend any civil nuclear cooperation with the government of Saudi Arabia in light of its recent, disturbing turn toward authoritarianism and aggression and away from behaving as a responsible member of the international community. In the letter, Senator Markey calls on President Trump not only to suspend any ongoing discussions related to concluding a civil nuclear cooperation, a 123 agreement, but also to direct his administration to revoke any Part 810 authorizations for the transfer of nuclear services, technology, or assistance to Saudi Arabia and to suspend indefinitely consideration of further Part 810 authorizations with regard to the Kingdom.
“Given the recent behavior and actions of senior leaders within the government of Saudi Arabia, it is clear that any nuclear cooperation with the Kingdom is inimical to U.S. interests and values at present,” writes Senator Markey in his letter to President Trump. “While the United States can and must continually look for opportunities to partner with other nations around the world, bilateral cooperation — especially in fields as sensitive as nuclear energy — must be based on trust, shared values, and without question be in the mutual interest of all parties. Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia’s recent actions have made it clear that any nuclear cooperation with its government does not currently meet that bar.”
A copy of Senator Markey’s letter can be found HERE.
In May, Senator Markey urged Energy Secretary Rick Perry to brief Congress on his discussions with Saudi Arabia and provide answers to repeated requests for information on any 123 agreement discussions.
In March 2018 Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman stated in an interview that his country would develop nuclear weapons “without a doubt if Iran developed a nuclear bomb. Just a few months later, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir echoed these disturbing comments.
In February, he called on the Departments of State and Energy to explain reports that the Trump administration had been pursuing a deal to sell nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia.