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Global Security Newswire

Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

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UAE, Canada Ink Atomic Trade Accord

Atomic firms in Canada could do business involving nonmilitary nuclear sites in the United Arab Emirates under a pact inked by the two nations on Tuesday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The plan restricts potential Canadian dealings to UAE atomic facilities covered by an inspections arrangement reached by Abu Dhabi and the International Atomic Energy Agency. The U.N. nuclear watchdog seeks to ensure that no atomic assets are diverted for military use in non-nuclear weapons states.

Ottawa permits atomic sales exclusively to nations guaranteeing that the supplies would strictly support "peaceful, nonexplosive end uses," and that they would receive "adequate physical protection ... to ensure that they are not stolen or otherwise misused," according to Xinhua.

The United Arab Emirates is among a number of Middle Eastern nations developing atomic energy capabilities. The newly announced deal could serve as a "model" for neighboring Iran, said UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan.

The official said "it's unfortunate that other countries -- and here obviously I'm talking about Iran -- do not look at the bigger picture when it comes to civilian nuclear programs."

A nuclear trade agreement negotiated by the United Arab Emirates and the United States commits Abu Dhabi to refrain from pursuing atomic fuel production capabilities suitable for generating nuclear-weapon material.

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