NEWS: France’s expanding nuclear trade

France signs up to £2 billion deal to build nuclear plants in the Gulf

France has agreed a £2 billion deal to build nuclear power stations in the Gulf and in return has secured a military base there.

The French base in Abu Dhabi would accommodate up to 500 troops. It would probably serve as a maintenance station for France’s naval vessels in the Gulf and could also be used as a springboard to send troops into the troubled region.

“France responds to its friends,” President Sarkozy said, calling the deal “a sign to all that France is participating in the stability of this region”.

The French moves followed an American promise to sell £10 billion of weaponry to Gulf states to help them to counter the influence of Iran. [complete article]

Sarkozy: Arabs have nuclear right

Nicolas Sarkozy has said that Arab countries should have the right to develop nuclear energy.

However, the French president said that right should not be extended to Iran until the government in Tehran has proved definitively that it does not intend to acquire nuclear weapons.

Sarkozy told Al Jazeera in the Qatari capital Doha on Monday: “In 40 years from now there will be no oil left and in 100 years no more gas, nuclear power will replace those energy sources … It is the energy of the future. [complete article]

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