US firms push Washington to restart nuclear pact talks with Riyadh-sources

US firms attracted by Saudi Arabia's plans to build nuclear reactors are pushing Washington to restart talks with Riyadh on an agreement to help the kingdom develop atomic energy, three industry sources said.


Saudi Arabia has welcomed the lobbying, they said, though it is likely to worry regional rival Iran at a time when tensions are already high in the Middle East.


One of the sources also said Riyadh had told Washington it does not want to forfeit the possibility of one day enriching uranium - a process that can have military uses - though this is a standard condition of US civil nuclear cooperation pacts.


"They want to secure enrichment if down the line they want to do it," the source, who is in contact with Saudi and US officials, said before US Energy Secretary Rick Perry holds talks in Riyadh early next week.


פרסום ראשון: 12.01.17, 18:02