Jordanian King Abdullah II has accused Israel of disrupting the country’s nuclear program to meet its dire energy needs.
The monarch said on Wednesday that Israel is pressuring the countries, who were approached by Amman, not to cooperate with Jordan on its nuclear program. The Arab country, which imports 95 percent of its energy, wants atomic power to meet its needs and run the nation’s water desalination plants. "When we started going down the road of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, we approached some highly responsible countries to work with us. And pretty soon we realized that Israel was putting pressure on those countries to disrupt any cooperation with us," the king said in an interview with AFP. "A Jordanian delegation would approach a potential partner, and one week later an Israeli delegation would be there, asking our interlocutors not to support Jordan's nuclear energy bid," King Abdullah added.Jordan also says it wants nuclear energy as an alternative to Egyptian gas, which normally covers 80 percent of power production. Since 2011, the gas pipeline from Egypt to Jordan has been attacked several times, with a consequent disruption of supplies. "Nuclear energy will be the cheapest reliable way to desalinate water," the king said. Israel, the sole possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, however, has dismissed the charge made by the Jordanian monarch. Amman and Tel-Aviv signed a peace treaty in 1994.