Saudi Arabia has hired an international law firm specializing in energy regulation in its efforts to extract a favorable agreement on civil nuclear cooperation from the United States. Newly published lobbying disclosures reveal that the Saudi Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources hired Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in the past few days to “advise” it on “a potential bilateral agreement with the United States concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energy.” The firm will also provide Riyadh with guidance on “related legal matters concerning the development of a commercial nuclear program.” The deal is for an initial term of approximately 30 days and billing comes to $890 per hour. Saudi insistence on retaining certain capabilities that could be used to produce nuclear weapons faces steep resistance in Congress even as some elements of the Donald Trump administration seem open to a more flexible deal. Neither the Saudi Embassy nor […]