Abdullah Accuses Israel of Undermining Jordan’s Nuclear Efforts
Jordan's King Abdullah accused Israel on Tuesday of attempting to prevent the kingdom from developing a peaceful nuclear program for energy purposes.
In an interview published Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal, King Abdullah said that Israel's "underhanded" actions have pushed Jordanian-Israeli relations to the lowest point since the two signed a 1994 peace agreement.
He accused Israel of approaching South Korea and France with requests to not sell Jordan nuclear technology.
"There are countries, Israel in particular that are more worried about us being economically independent than the issue of nuclear energy, and have been voicing their concerns," he told the newspaper.
"There are many such reactors in the world and a lot more coming, so (the Israelis must) go mind their own business," he added. Israel has denied trying to prevent Jordan from developing a nuclear program.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Jordan's nuclear motivations stem from economic concerns. The kingdom is 95 percent dependent on imported oil and has among the world's smallest water reserves.
The current U.S. policy is to ensure that Jordan imports its nuclear fuel so the uranium is not diverted to the military. Under the Non-Proliferation Treaty signed by Jordan, the kingdom holds the right to produce its own uranium fuel.
According to Jordan, foreign attempts to prevent it from utilizing its own uranium would violate the treaty and harm its economy. Jordan hopes to eventually export both uranium and electricity to its neighbors, particularly Iraq and Syria.