Ros-Lehtinen seeks oversight on UAE nuclear deal

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A top Republican congresswoman said she would seek tough oversight of a peaceful nuclear agreement between the United States and the United Arab Emirates.

President Barack Obama this week sent to Congress for its approval an agreement with the UAE to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Such agreements have been signed in recent years with a number of Arab countries as a means of increasing U.S. oversight and preventing peaceful programs from veering toward weapons development.

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the senior Republican on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, said the deal with UAE raised concerns because of the role of the country in the past as a conduit for illicit transactions in technology between arms manufacturers and rogue nations such as Iran and Libya.

“UAE’s long history as a conduit for Iran’s nuclear weapons program, its failure to fully implement effective export controls, and the danger of expanding nuclear facilities and expertise in the Middle East make this agreement a dangerous precedent,” she said in a statement. “I have introduced legislation that requires the UAE to fully address these concerns before the agreement can take effect.  We must ensure that the UAE has met all of the necessary conditions before we loosen our grip on our nuclear technology in this dangerous region.”

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