Export Controls in the United Arab Emirates: A Practical Manifestation of a Strategic Dilemma   [open pdf - 85KB]

"On January 15, 2009, the United States and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a civilian nuclear cooperation agreement, known as the 'U.S.-UAE 123 Agreement.' The accord is intended to enable the UAE to possess a peaceful nuclear energy capacity while at the same time preventing weapons proliferation. Under the agreement, the UAE, forfeits the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT)-afforded right to a domestic enrichment program and will not seek to reprocess its spent nuclear fuel. If approved by the U.S. Congress, by 2017, the UAE could become the first Arab nation to utilize civilian nuclear technology. According to UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, 'Under the terms of this agreement, the UAE will gain access to significant capabilities and experience in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. This will allow the UAE to develop its civilian nuclear program to the highest standards of safety, security and nonproliferation.' The deal has received mixed reactions from around the world. Many people support the use of civilian nuclear energy in the region, including Hans Blix, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). [...]. The larger context of this story is, however, an extension of the dilemma the UAE faces when dealing with the challenge of Iran. While Iran continues to obtain illicit goods, it is the UAE that controls their primary transit point. Therefore, the country is able to have a material effect on Iran's access to these goods essential to its economy as a whole and its nuclear program and conventional military capabilities in particular."

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WMD Insights (February 2009), no.30, p.8-10
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