Past Event

Enriched uranium in exchange for oil: Sound U.S. policy?

President Bush’s visit to Saudi Arabia last month resulted in an agreement to
support the country’s nuclear power program, including providing enriched
uranium for nuclear reactors. The White House said the deal "will pave the way
for Saudi Arabia’s access to safe, reliable fuel sources for energy reactors and
demonstrate Saudi leadership as a positive non-proliferation model for the

Meanwhile, the U.S. government has not only protested the
acquisition and development of nuclear technology and material in Iran, but also
threatened military action over their nuclear program. Both Saudi Arabia and
Iran are signatories to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and have stated that they
are interested in these technologies in order to generate energy domestically
and for the advancement of scientific research.

Despite similar
statements of intent from Saudi Arabia and Iran, the Bush administration has
argued that Iran should not be trusted. Why is the U.S. willing to provide
enriched uranium to Saudi Arabia but not to Iran? Even if Saudi Arabia does
increase oil production, there has been no word on the how this might affect oil
prices in the U.S. So, how does the U.S. benefit from such a deal? And,
finally, what would actually constitute sound nuclear policy in the region?


Suggested Readings:

Free. open to the public. For more information, call 312.422.5580.