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Don’t Give Saudi Arabia An Easy Path to Nukes

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih are about to meet in London to discuss a nuclear agreement that would allow Riyadh to enrich uranium and extract plutonium in return for American companies getting a chance to build nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia. Inevitably, comparisons will be made with the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, which permitted limited uranium enrichment.

But the current debate over this deal is missing the most important point: The issue isn’t whether it’s fair to constrain the Saudis more than the Iranians, or whether there is an opportunity to revive U.S. nuclear manufacturing, or to thwart Russian and Chinese influence in the Middle East. It’s that giving Riyadh a pass on tight nuclear nonproliferation rules would be playing with fire.

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