Trump has been busy denuclearizing North Korea since he took office, but at the same time he has been quietly doing one thing: to make Saudi Arabia nuclear.
According to US media reports, a new report released by the US House of Representatives Oversight and Reform Committee on Tuesday showed that several prosecutors revealed that Trump government officials have been secretly trying to transfer sensitive nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.
According to the Washington Post, the US Atomic Energy Act requires that any transfer of nuclear energy technology to other countries requires permission from Congress. But the Trump administration bypassed Congress and has been doing it privately – this is probably illegal. In addition, White House lawyers and some officials of the National Security Council are concerned that Saudi Arabia may use nuclear technology to develop nuclear weapons.
At present, the House of Representatives has launched an investigation into this matter. The White House has not yet responded to the report of the House of Representatives.
Why does Trump want to sell nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia? What does Saudi Arabia mean if it has nuclear technology?
Trump's Middle East Marshall Plan
According to the commercial insider magazine, the Trump administration has started its Middle East Marshall Plan since its inception.
The so-called Middle East Marshall Plan refers to plans for the United States to establish nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia and other Middle East regions. According to a report released by Congress, Derek Harvey, then senior assistant to the US National Security Council for Middle East and North Africa, proposed the plan shortly after Trump took office.
Although many staff warned Harvey that the transfer of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia needs to comply with the relevant regulations, because Saudi Arabia may use these technologies to develop nuclear weapons, but Harvey insists on advancing this plan.
One of the key figures in this program is Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn. According to the report, Flynn is associated with a number of nuclear energy companies and plans to establish a nuclear power plant in Saudi Arabia. During the Trump campaign, Flynn served as a consultant to IP3 International, a nuclear energy company, and directly promoted a group of companies to join the plan to build a nuclear power plant in Saudi Arabia.
Although Flynn was fired in February 2017 for involvement in the United States, he was convicted of lying to the FBI, but reported that the plan to transfer nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia has not stopped.
According to the BBC, Trump also met with relevant personnel at the White House on the 12th of this month to discuss plans to establish nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries. Trump's son-in-law and White House senior adviser Kushner will also open the Middle East this month to discuss Trump's Middle East peace plan with the Middle East countries.
The House of Representatives announced on Tuesday that it will investigate the matter in depth to understand whether the Trump administration's actions are based on US national security interests or economic gains for certain people.
Trump's friendly relationship with Saudi Arabia raises concerns
According to the Associated Press, the close relationship between the Trump administration and Saudi Arabia has caused deep concern among the two parties in Congress.
After Trump took office, Saudi Arabia became one of the core countries of the Trump administration's Middle East policy while trying to isolate Iran. Trump himself is also closely related to Saudi Arabia.
In May 2018, Trump announced that the United States had withdrawn from the Iranian nuclear agreement and completely restarted sanctions against Iraq in November. Although the IAEA has repeatedly confirmed that Iran is complying with the Iranian nuclear agreement, the EU, Russia, China and other countries have also expressed their support for the Iranian nuclear agreement. Trump's hostile attitude toward Iran has not changed in any way.
Conversely, on the Saudi issue, although many countries condemned the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad for being responsible for the death of journalist Kashuji, Trump insisted that the events were small and small, and that he would not destroy the relationship with Saudi Arabia. In addition, his son-in-law Kushner has also maintained a close personal relationship with the Saudi Crown Prince.
According to Al Jazeera, Tom Colina, a policy expert at the Plowing Head Foundation, an anti-nuclear proliferation organization, said that Trump is actually helping Saudi Arabia because of money, while supporting Saudi Arabia to fight Iran, but if Saudi Arabia gains nuclear Technology will only prompt Iran to start its nuclear program again.
According to the Washington Post, members of the US Senate have jointly launched a bill to prevent the United States from transferring nuclear energy technology to Saudi Arabia. The bill is still under discussion. However, this bill clearly expresses the Senate's worries about Saudi Arabia's use of nuclear technology to develop nuclear weapons.
What does Saudi Arabia have for nuclear technology?
According to the US media Gizmodo, although Saudi Arabia has not yet developed nuclear technology, they have been very interested in buying nuclear weapons from abroad.
The Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad said in 2018 that Saudi Arabia does not want to develop nuclear weapons, but if Iran develops nuclear weapons, there is no doubt that we will take the same action as soon as possible, and in fact expose Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions.
And once you have nuclear technology, just like opening the Pandora's Box, Saudi Arabia's ambitions will grow bigger and bigger.
Commercial insider magazine said that in fact the United States can legally sell nuclear energy technology to Saudi Arabia if Saudi Arabia can guarantee technical safety, allow inspectors to inspect and not use this technology to develop nuclear weapons.
However, Saudi Arabia cannot guarantee this.
On the surface, after selling nuclear energy technology to Saudi Arabia, US companies can earn billions of dollars in profits, while Saudi Arabia has opened up a new path to economic development.
But going deeper, on the one hand, the Trump administration's approach may be illegal, and on the other hand this may lead to confusion in the Middle East.
Al Jazeera said security experts are concerned that access to nuclear technology could lead Saudi Arabia to begin developing nuclear weapons, triggering a weapons race in the Middle East and further causing chaos in the Middle East.