Washington, DC – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard L Berman (D-CA) this evening introduced a joint resolution to approve the proposed US-UAE Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear Cooperation. Introducing a resolution related to such an agreement is required by the Atomic Energy Act.
“I am satisfied that this agreement is in the nonproliferation interest of the United States,” he said. “This is a model that any future U.S. civilian nuclear cooperation agreement, and all other nuclear supplier states, should follow.”
Berman noted that the nonproliferation conditions of the proposed US-UAE Agreement go beyond those required by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, the requirements of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and even current U.S. law.
“This proposed agreement contains, for the first time, a binding legal commitment by a foreign country not to enrich uranium or produce plutonium, which can be used either to fuel electricity-generating reactors or nuclear bombs,” he said. “It demonstrates that there is another way to a truly peaceful nuclear energy program.”
Berman cautioned, however, that there are still outstanding questions about the UAE’s relationship with Iran. “I and many of my colleagues are concerned about whether the UAE is doing everything possible to prevent Iran from advancing its illicit nuclear activities by using the UAE’s territory and financial institutions to acquire equipment and technology,” he said. “The government of the UAE should consider further steps to satisfy these concerns as soon as possible.”
Once the president transmits a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement to Congress, U.S. law requires a review period of 90 days of continuous legislative session before the agreement can go into effect. Under the current legislative schedule, the review period will end on October 17.