Contact: Josh Holly (202) 225-2539
Washington, D.C. --- U.S. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) today said the United Arab Emirates can’t be trusted with critical infrastructure within the United States due to its key role as a transfer point in the trade of nuclear materials to Pakistan, Iran and other nations.
“Dubai can’t be trusted with our critical infrastructure. United Arab Emirates officials have been instrumental in the transshipment of nuclear materials and weapons of mass destruction components,” said Hunter.
“United Arab Emirates officials and private companies have regularly waived-through or turned a blind eye to the shipment of nuclear triggers to Pakistan and nerve gas precursors to Iran. Their track record is terrifying.”
“The United States government must take steps to enhance our security – not create greater vulnerabilities. We must ensure critical U.S. infrastructure remains in U.S. hands. To those who say my views smack of protectionism, I say: America is worth protecting,” concluded Hunter.
Hunter cited the following incidents as examples* of why a United Arab Emirates-owned company can not be trusted with ownership of U.S. critical infrastructure:
- In 2003, over U.S. protests, United Arab Emirates customs officials allowed sixty-six American high-speed electrical switches, which are ideal for detonating nuclear weapons, to be sent to a Pakistani businessman with longstanding ties to the Pakistani military.
- Seventy tons of heavy water, a component for nuclear reactors, were sent from China to Dubai. The shipping labels were then changed to mask the transaction, and sixty tons of the heavy water were forwarded to India, where it enabled the government to use its energy-producing reactors to create plutonium for its atomic weapons program. The other ten tons went to Argentina.
- A Greek intermediary offered Iraq an atomic-bomb design from Dr. A. Q. Khan in Pakistan, with a guarantee that ''any requirements or materials'' could be bought from Western countries and routed through Dubai.
- Two containers of gas centrifuge parts from Dr. Khan's labs were shipped through Dubai to Iran for about $3 million worth of Untied Arab Emirates currency.
- A Dubai company ordered American-made impregnated alumina – a substance that can be used for making nerve gas ingredients – and tried to pass it along to an Iranian purchasing agent in violation of American export control laws.
*Source: Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control