The United States and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Friday signed a deal to cooperate in civilian nuclear energy, which Washington says contrasts with Iran's defiant nuclear ambitions. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her UAE counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nayhan signed the document laying out what the US called "the legal framework" for civil nuclear cooperation under international controls. "We applaud the UAE's commitment to the highest standards of safety, security and non-proliferation in its pursuit of nuclear power," Rice said during the signing ceremony with Sheikh Abdullah. "This is a powerful and timely model for the UAE and the region," the chief US diplomat said.